3 March 2014

Being John Malkovich


Being John Malkovich 1999
  • Director: Spike Jonze
  • Based on book: No but written by Charlie Kaufman who is known for his bizarre screenplays (Adaption, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
  • Cast: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich, Catherine Keener, Mary Kay Place, Orson Bean, with cameos by Charlie Sheen, Sean Penn and Brad Pitt
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
  • John Cusack  2012, Serendipity, 1408, High Fidelity, The Cradle Will Rock, The Thin Red Line, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Grosse Point Blank
  • Cameron Diaz – The Green Hornet, The Holiday, In Her Shoes, The Gangs of New York, A Life Less Ordinary, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Feeling Minnesota
  • John Malkovich  Burn After Reading, Beowulf, Colour Me Kubrick, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Libertine, Portrait of a Lady, Mary Reilly, Heart of Darkness, Of Mice and Men, Dangerous Liaisons, The Killing Fields
  • Catherine Keener – Into the Wild, The Soloist
  • Mary Kay Place – Lonesome Jim, Human Nature, My First Mister, Girl Interrupted, Manny and Lo, Citizen Ruth, Private Benjamin, New York New York
  • Why? Liked it the first time
  • Seen:  Once before.  Now: March 2, 2014
       Geeky loser puppeteer Craig (John Cusack) finds a portal through which he can enter John Malkovich’s head for fifteen minutes.  His calculating partner Maxine (Catherine Keener) figures they can make loads of money by charging people $200 to do this.  They do and they get rich. Craig’s ditzy wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) becomes addicted to being John Malkovich and falls in love with Maxine. Craig is in love with Maxine.  Maxine is in love with Lotte but only when she, Lotte, is being John Malkovich.
       After that the film becomes weird.
       Craig says after finding the portal, “It raises all kinds of philosophical questions.”
       Well, yes…
       It’s hilarious, it’s absurd, it’s quite brilliant.  John Malkovich does a great John Malkovich.  We’ve never seen John Cusack like this, long-haired, bespectacled like a latter day John Lennon in his “Imagine” period, a mad dreamer.  It suits him. It’s a strange one for Cameron Diaz too. I didn’t even recognize her.
       What else can I say?  It’s mad.

4 ½ * of 5

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