Posted by: greercn | January 3, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Reimagining the “Walter Mitty” story for 2013 must have seemed like a great idea to Ben Stiller. He directs and acts in the leading role. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it, although I am not a Ben Stiller fan.

Walter works for Life magazine. It is under threat of closure from new owners. He zones out, picturing himself in adventurous situations and places, to combat a drab reality.

We’re a long way away from the James Thurber story or the 1947 Danny Kaye movie. Thurber disliked the changes made to his story in that movie so he would have hated this. But he’s been dead since 1961 so he probably doesn’t have an opinion. Here’s that story:

http://bnrg.eecs.berkeley.edu/~randy/mitty.html

The less you know about the plot going in, the better off you are. There are superb locations, adventurous situations and really good performances from Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine and Sean Penn. Kathryn Hahn is funny and moving as Walter’s sister, Odessa.

Patton Oswalt and Olafur Darri Olafsson have super comic scenes at key moments.

It’s all very entertaining and the leaps from New York office to fast-paced foreign travel felt very charming and lovely, to me.

If you’re a dreamer, you’ll enjoy this much more than those who like their films to be more authentic. A taste for the South American genre of magical realism will permit you to suspend disbelief, at key moments.

The soundtrack and script are good, too.

“Walter Mitty” was a great pleasure for most of those watching it at Stratford East Picturehouse. I am told most critics don’t like it.

But I bet you will.

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Responses

  1. Nice review Greer. I’m not much of a fan of Stiller either, but I have to say, I was quite impressed with what he was able to do here. Granted, it wasn’t a perfect movie of his, but it was a lot better than I expected from him.

    • Same here! Thanks for another great comment! SO appreciated.

  2. I always found Ben Stiller to be a terrible actor who really is never funny. All he seems to do is complain about the money he gets and his lack of fans. Nobody in Hollywood likes him and all the work he ever got was because of his father. His own father said that he wasn´t any good either.

    Ben Stiller has burned every possible bridge in Hollywood, like the case of Andy Dick. He called the producers of a show Andy Dick was working on and took away his job and now Andy Dick sleeps in his ex-wife´s garage. In her new husband´s car. So sad.

    • I can’t comment on his personal life. He isn’t one of my favourite actors. But he is very funny in this film and I enjoyed his performance.


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