Liz: 2.5 (????? I think???) stars out of 5

Mr. Nobody (2009), directed by Jaco Van Dormael and starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Rhys Ifans (and others!) is a film that I had been hearing a lot about recently. I had heard generally positive and interesting reactions to this and so I wanted to see it for my movie turn. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sold on this movie — read on!

Quick Liz summary: Nemo Nobody is the oldest mortal man left on Earth after humans have become quasi-immortal. He recounts his life and important events that have happened, which individually branch out as alternate life choices and their consequences are shown.

Let’s start with what I loved about this movie. The cinematography (Christophe Beaucarne) and the visual effects (Louis Morin– who did work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) were absolutely beautiful! They reminded me especially of the visual effects in the cancelled-too-soon show Pushing Daisies and also maybe Wes Anderson, in that many scenes seemed almost straight out of a story-book or a doll-house, if that makes sense. The colors were bright, especially when Nemo was a younger child, and everything looked like it was ~almost~ fake, which reminded me a lot of The Truman Show as well.

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Another thing that I appreciated about this movie were its general themes of choice, time, and the butterfly effect. Old Nemo can’t really seem to recall how his life played out and so he goes back to major life events and alternate life paths play out as he considers the different choices he had at the time. I really like the whole idea of the butterfly effect and how your life could have turned out a different way if you made a different choice at one certain time. It also really freaks me out and makes me think if life is up to fate/ destiny or if it’s just super random and whatever happens happens. I don’t really like the latter because I start wondering what my life would be like if I didn’t decide to buy those shoes that one day or something. large

This leads me to the things that I didn’t really like about this movie. While I loved the theme, the way that it was executed was just waaaay too confusing for me. The whole movie I was just like “UHHHH wait what?” From the beginning, the movie was clearly about choice and the way life can turn out differently based on whatever you decide, but for some reason, I was just really confused during the film despite being able to grasp what it was trying to do. Perhaps it was the non-linear style of the film that was throwing me off, but it just didn’t work out for me at the end and I was a bit displeased by that. It completely ruined the experience for me; I really wish I liked it more. Maybe it’s just one of those movies that you have to read about afterwards in order to appreciate what it was trying to accomplish, but I at least would have liked to feel like I understood SOMETHING.

The final thought I have about this movie is how the one person of color in this film — Linh Dan Pham — was given a really weak, ignored character to play. I understand that Diane Kruger is the bigger, more well-known actress, so obviously she was going to get a more important character but AGH, I just wish that better roles were give to Asian women in general and not relegated to a lesser, more supporting role.

Well, that’s all I have to say about it! I’m interested to see what Omar has to write about this but I’ll tell you what he said at the end of it — “I don’t think I liked it..” Haha, wait and see!

Upcoming reviews from me — What We Do In the Shadows.

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