Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ironic Nonfiction

Authors: Daniel Crooke
Location: Ohio

“Ironic Nonfiction”

Directed by: Alexander Payne
Screenplay by: Larry David and Alexander Payne
Produced by: Larry David, Alexander Payne, and Charlie Kaufman

Principal Cast:

Tim Robbins as Augustus Gloop
David Bowie as Richard "Shooter" Gloop
Phyllis Diller as Alice "Shooter" Gloop
Felicity Huffman as Michelle Gloop
Edward Norton as James Stewart
Michael Caine as Brian McAdams
Greg Kinnear as Harrison Harman
Tim Curry as Dr. Christopher Aaron
Abigail Breslin as Rachel Smith

Tagline: "Meet Augustus. He has problems"

Synopsis: All of his life, Augustus had been under constant ridicule. It may have been that he was named after the obese boy from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" because one night his parents decided that it would be hilarious to name a child Augustus. Or, it could have been that he was abnormally skinny. Or, it may have been that his best friend was named James Stewart. Or, it may have been that James was possibly the worst actor to ever grace the stage. Whatever it was, Augustus hated two things the most in life: his parents and his life. He was married to a woman who he believed to have multiple personalities. His daughter, Rachel, had officially changed her last name. To make it worse, his parents had been kicked out of their retirement "village" in Florida and they decided to move in with him. Two months later, James showed up at his house after a nasty divorce. Augustus was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Three days later, he was over the verge. Checking himself into a mental institution, Augustus began to begin treatment with a Dr. Christopher Aaron, a psychiatrist who likes to think that his "new" and "exciting" methods will cure any man after just two weeks. After four months of extensive treatment, Augustus finished up his time with Dr. Aaron. On his way out of the institution, he was approached with an offer by a man named Brian McAdams. It was to become a spokesman for a major company that was in the middle of a lawsuit. That company was Nestle. Dr. Aaron insisted he do it, so he did. He becomes the nation's joke, as the lawsuit has been televised, and Augustus becomes a news world celebrity. Augustus hates the attention but uses it to his advantage. He fakes his own death, gets a new name (John Doe) and moves to Los Angeles where he became a famous Hollywood producer. Yes, life for the new Mr. John Doe was indeed strange.

What the press would say:

Quite possibly the most unique and unexpected and best film of the year. "Ironic Nonfiction" goes up in Hollywood's shelf of quirky and strange comedies. What a film. What to say? Well, the protagonist's name is Augustus Gloop. Enough said. The film shows how this eventually led to his midlife crisis, during and after. By the end of the film, Augustus is so fed up with his life that he fakes his own death and starts over. I will be frank: "Ironic Nonfiction" is one of the best acted films of the decade. The standouts of the cast are Tim Robbins who plays Augustus Gloop, Felicity Huffman as his sometimes schizophrenic wife, David Bowie and Phyllis Diller as his once drug addicted parents and Tim Curry as the Freude-wannabe who is Augustus' psychiatrist. This film is directed by Alexander Payne (who brought us "Sideways") and is written by him and Larry David (co-creator of "Seinfeld" and star of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"). This film is so well written that you wonder how they thought of it. Don't worry, this comedy has no crotch jokes, it is all smart, subtle, and dark humor. Bowie and Diller have the perfect chemistry as Augustus' two parents. They are reminiscent of Alan Arkin's "Grandpa" from "Little Miss Sunshine". The two are by far the funniest characters who steal every scene they are in. Felicity Huffman is hysterical as Michelle Gloop, the hysterical wife of Augustus. Tim Robbins gives his best performance since "Mystic River" as the protagonist whose life is crumbling in front of his eyes. Last but not least, Tim Curry will win Best Supporting Actor this year. With some of his methods including the "Green Bean Method" and the "Lima Bean Method" and the "String Bean Method", he delivers perfect physical comedy as well as some hilarious one-liners. "Ironic Nonfiction" is the surprise hit of the year!


Best Picture- Larry David, Alexander Payne, Charlie Kaufman
Best Director- Alexander Payne
Best Actor- Tim Robbins
Best Actress- Felicity Huffman
Best Supporting Actor- David Bowie
Best Supporting Actress- Phyllis Diller
Best Original Screenplay- Larry David and Alexander Payne
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Costume Design
Best Original Song- "Ironic Nonfiction" by Regina Spektor
Best Score- John Williams


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