topfivefilms.com Tuesday 18th January 2022
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Stranger Than Fiction (12A)
Directed by: Marc Forster
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

This is a film that I have been looking forward to ever since I heard its premise: Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a number-obsessed taxman who wakes up one morning to find he can hear a woman narrating his life. This is disturbing enough for him, until she announces that the simple act of setting his watch would lead to his imminent death.

Crick decided that waiting for rain would be cheaper than buying a bottle of water
Crick decided that waiting for rain would be cheaper than buying a bottle of water

No one else can hear the narrator, so Harold seeks out the help of a literary professor (Dustin Hoffman) to try and determine what type of story he is in. They narrow it down to either a comedy or a tragedy just in time for Harold Crick to fall in love with a woman he is supposed to be auditing (Maggie Gyllenhaal). The question is, will this story have a happy ending, or will Harold bite the dust just as he is starting to enjoy life?

The finished film more than lives up to its intriguing premise, and it is funny and poignant in all the right places. It is essentially The Truman Show with books instead of TV, but Ferrell proves he is capable of a departure from his normal outrageous comedic roles.

The pace at which the film unfolds is just right, and there are some great visual touches too, as Crick's accountancy mindset is demonstrated by numbers and measurements appearing against objects as he moves around. I suppose we should expect nothing less from Marc Forster, the director of Oscar-magnets Monster's Ball and Finding Neverland.

I found this film warm, entertaining, thought-provoking and quite amusing and it will hold your attention throughout by doing nothing more than keeping you interested in Harold Crick's journey. Unusual and mainstream at the same time, this is definitely worth watching.

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Length: 113 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/strangerthanfiction/
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0420223/
Release Date: 1st December 2006

Top Five Rating: 90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0% (90.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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