Being John Malkovich (1999)
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener
Link to trailer on youtube.com:
Craig Schwartz (Cusack), an ambitious puppeteer living with his pet-loving wife Lotte (Diaz), answers a news paper ad for a job at Lestercorp, an office with a odd history and low headroom, located at the 7 1/2 floor of the Martin Flemmer Building in New York City. He lands a job as a filing clerk, where finds himself attracted to co-worker Maxine (Keener), who doesn’t really share the same feelings towards him. When Craig discovers a door that is actually a mysterious portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich, Maxine and Craig decide to make a business out of it, and start charging a fee from customers who are looking for that perfect trip.
“Being John Malkovich” is a 90’s dark comedy written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. Starring in the film are John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich, who plays himself in the film. The year of its release, the film received Academy Award nominations for Best Director (Spike Jonze), Best Original Screenplay (Charlie Kaufman), and a Best Supporting Actress nod for actress Catherine Keener.
This is such a good film. The first collaboration between director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Kaufman’s screenplay and Jonze’s direction are the driving force of this film. Director and screenwriter somehow just complement each other. The plot is smart, uniquely complex, and highly imaginative. Its bizarre, yet intriguing.
An interesting cast heads this film, and the performances here were convincing enough. I like how John Cusack and Cameron Diaz manage to pull-off the image of a struggling New York City couple. Catherine Keener’s performance in this is mesmerizing. Her presence is quite the conservative tease, and the sense of mystery surrounding her character is seductive on its own. I actually thought John Malkovich was the most exceptional in this film, but i guess no one really gives recognition to someone who plays himself onscreen.
It was nice to have relived this. This is one of those films which i believe should have racked more recognition during its time. Overall though, it did lose out to some stiff competition that year. If your in the mood for the weird and bizarre, i highly recommend this. See it.
- 3rdworldmoviejunkie posted this