Starring: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan
and Dylan Smith
Directed & Written by: Mark Romanek
own a digital camera yet? You will when I get done with this review.
Robin Williams plays a disturbed bland fellow that will have shivers
running up and down your spine for days after the viewing. Why?
He's so normal. Blah. Bland. Well until
Mark Romanek' has created an eerie disturbing and exact case study
on the madness that simmers just below the surface. His script
also gives Robin Williams yet another, and perhaps his strongest,
stroll into the role opposite of light hearted. Robin leaps
off the screen and into your psyche as a disturbing villain that
one still can't help buy care about. Williams is truly an acting
power in this psychological thriller .
"Sy" Parrish (Robin - The Independent Spirit Awards
2003 will notice, don't fret- Williams) is a nine to five film
developer at the local SavMart. He develops others dreams, joys
and life experiences.
is a pinch meticulous with one family in particular, the Yorkins.
Sy lives vicariously through this friendly happy family unit.
There's Nina (Connie Nielsen), Will (Michael Vartan) and their
lad, little Jakob (Dylan Smith). The perfect family snapshot
fact he likes these folks so very much he gets doubles of each
and everyone of their photos - through out the years! Yep, he's
going Norman Bates on us!
course if anyone - but the kid no one would listen to - noticed
the "breakdown-comin'-your-way-aisle-three" signs
listened to what the man actually says
.like, "If these
pictures have anything to say to future generations it is this
I was here
.and someone cared enough about
me to take my picture" . They would pick up on the fact that
that is not a normal way to react to pictures, um, clue
Yorkin family this guy's insane-o-rama!
Hour Photo is just plain old creepy. Williams's delivery of the
oddball you see everyday and dismiss as just a pinch off, yet
harmless, is utterly nightmare inducing. I was much nicer to the
Quickie Mart guy today when I picked up my daily coffee I tell
you! And the style of the film is so sublime and cleverly painted
with its brightness and generic "cold" feel when the
sh** hits the fan it is all the more disturbing. The production
designer Tom Foden and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, together
with customer Arianne Phillips (a personal fave) combined with
the dotted spine tingling soundtrack by the dou Johnny Klimek
and Reinhold Heil pull you in to this funny little world director
Romanek has Sy exist in. In fact I feel even Sy "Parrish"
himself may be writer Romanek's clever form of a sub textually
hinting to the fact that things are not always as they seem; since
the character's namesake evokes images of Maxwell Parrish the
bright and vivid painter and yet we get Seymour Parrish the bland
worker bee stuck in a fluorescent wash of mundane hues. Or I could
have just thought too deep
One Hour Photo a unique Film? No. And there are some flaws sprinkled
in with the brilliance. But the mistakes are so muted by Williams's
delightful delivery of the diabolically dismissed Sy and the fore
mentioned attention to cinematic details, they seem hardly worth
commenting on. This is a different and strange psychological thriller.
You like the odd and quirky bits one find in the little theater,
like myself, run and see this. You don't? See a blockbuster
in the corporate owned multiplex next door.
digital cameras use a firewire to download directly into
your computer and you can purchase a nice Epson photo printer
cutting out the "Sy" in your life.
Recommendation: Anything but counter food from the SavMart
- employees dine there