Sunday, November 19, 2006

Metafictional Drama

by Marc Forster

I was pleasantly surprised by Stranger Than Fiction as it took a more dramatic and sentimental tone than a comedic one and it worked very well. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film filled with loving details in the characters, writing and performances. Will Ferrell is understated as a man who is a character in a novel being written by Emma Thompson. With a relatively simple story that often makes difficult choices, it was also fun. One unexpected highlight was Dustin Hoffman’s great supporting performance as a literature professor. Hoffman steals the scenes with strange actions and a rich character. Structurally the film works well as narrative traditions are played with in a self-conscious way. While I would have been happy with a light and slightly intellectual comedy it was very nice to have something that was a bit deeper and more meaningful than I was expecting which was a very good thing.

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