2013 / Director. Ben Stiller.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I was late to the party on this one. I never got around to seeing THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY at the cinemas and I wish had. Ben Stiller's acting career may be hit & miss but when it comes to directing, he's a sure bet. In my mind he is yet to make a bad film and so far they've all been great. WALTER MITTY is no exception. Based on a short story, which was also adapted in 1947, the film tells the story of a day dreamer. Walter Mitty leads a boring life and despite being a loyal and productive employee for LIFE magazine, he faces an uncertain future when the publication moves online. Instilled with the responsibility of producing the magazine's final (and best) cover, he loses the film negative and embarks on an impromptu and uncharacteristic adventure to find it. This is a fantasy film of the highest degree. It has been beautifully realized and Stiller has total command over the whole thing. Full of wonderful imagery, fantastical FX and a truckload of warmth THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is exciting, funny and endearing. Stiller is fantastic on screen too. He balances the various emotional stretches of the character effortlessly and he is supported by some equally good performances. Kristen Wiig is delightful as the woman of Walter's dreams and she brings a lovely subtlety that never oversteps its bounds. Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott and Sean Penn are all great too. I felt like a giddy school boy watching this film. Everything is right about it. The soundtrack is brilliant. The landscapes as magnificent and it's end scene is beautiful. I LOVED this film and my sense of wonder was invigorated. My mind kept casting back to JOE VS THE VOLCANO. A very similar film. Hugely underrated and now on my list of movies to revisit.