The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Directed by Ben Stiller
Release Date – December 26th 2013
I decided that there were several themes that connected the films in cinemas in Australia on Boxing Day 2013. Sisters, mountains and comedians playing it straight.
This film, based on an idea first presented in James Thurber‘s short story published in 1939, requires an audience to be generous and patient.
It’s a piece of art that is nostalgic, romantic & wistful – challenging propositions for a cinema full of modern people who grow restless without action.
It’s in the film’s favour then that Ben Stiller understands comedy. In this case the brand of comedy he presents alternates between subtle, absurd, kind, measured, restrained and some slapstick.
Mitty is a “negative asset manager” for Life Magazine. The title is being taken over and moved online and the deadline is looming for the last issue – the only problem? Walter Mitty has lost the cover photo.
He embarks on a quest to find the missing negative and travels from Greenland to Afghanistan in search of the mystical photographer Sean O’Connell – played mischievously by Sean Penn.
A metaphor for Stiller’s career as an actor, going from people thinking he is one thing, to surprising people that he has a lot more to offer.
If you can leave your cynicism at the door you’ll be pleasantly surprised with some gorgeous scenery and some cute scenes with Kristen Wiig.
A film wearing its heart on its sleeve.
With luck you’ll leave the cinema thinking – Take nothing for granted.