Archives for posts with tag: Emma Thompson

At one point in “Dolittle” (2020), Robert Downey Jr.’s doctor must sail to a place that’s never been found. The film itself also ends up in no man’s land – too formulaic to be interesting yet too quirky to have broad appeal. There’s lots of CG animals voiced by Hollywood celebrities. A couple of kids coax zoo-bound Downey out of retirement. High seas hijinks ensue. Downey channels Johnny Depp and tops it with a delicious crypto-Scottish accent. Antonio Banderas plays some kind of pirate. He’s fascinating to look at and listen to but, like the film, doesn’t do anything particularly memorable.

Will Ferrell is a really good actor who has done some really interesting movies with really strong casts. There, I said it. He has also done some total crap in which he barely even tried to write a script, much less memorize it. The adorable “Stranger Than Fiction” (2006), thankfully, falls into the former category. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hulce, Linda Hunt, Queen Latifah and Emma Thompson have all been nominated for or have won Oscars. Plus, there’s the two dudes from the Sonic commercials. And Mr. Ferrell, as an IRS agent whose life imitates art. Or vice versa.

If you watched “Primary Colors” when it first came out in 1998, you focused on John Travolta and Emma Thompson playing fictionalized versions of Bill and Hillary Clinton. If you look back at it today, focus instead on the elitist black aide with stars in his eyes. The movie uses him as a vessel to carry the story. Now pretend he’s a young Barack Obama serving at the feet of masters so that someday he may beat them at their own game. Interesting, isn’t it, how a movie can tell a story that didn’t exist when it was originally told?