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Being John Malkovich

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All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Being John Malkovich

Starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz
Director: Spike Jonze
Rated: R
RunTime: 112 Minutes
Release Date: October 1999
Genres: Comedy, Drama


*Also starring: John Malkovich, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, W. Earl Brown, Mary Kay Place, Charlie Sheen, Spike Jonze



Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Harvey Karten read the review ---
3.  MrBrown read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
4.  John Beachem read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
5.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
6.  Greg King read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
7.  Walter Frith read the review movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
8.  UK Critic read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review

Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

If there's an award for the boldest, most unconventional and wildly inventive movie of the year, it has to go to "Being John Malkovich," in which screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze blend surrealism with science-fiction and self-parody. John Cusack stars as an out-of-work puppeteer who takes a job as a filing clerk in a New York office building on the 7 1/2 floor, where the rents are low because the ceilings are half the normal height. It's a great visual gag as workers hunch over, scuttling down the hall. Stuck in an unhappy marriage to an almost unrecognizable Cameron Diaz with dark, frizzy hair, he becomes infatuated with a co-worker, Catherine Keener, who couldn't be less interested. At least until he discovers a small door behind a filing cabinet that leads to a tunnel which, inexplicably, sucks him into the brain of actor John Malkovich. Cusack can see through the actor's eyes and share whatever he's is feeling - for 15 minutes - until he's dumped into a ditch on the New Jersey Turnpike. When he shares his discovery with Keener, she immediately sees the potential in selling entrance - $200 per person - to this portal so that others can partake in the sensory and emotional experiences of John Malkovich. They become partners in this commercial venture - until, inevitably, the enigmatic Malkovich discovers how they've opened this "metaphysical can of worms." Plus, there's a deliriously mad subplot of gender/blender sexual seduction, absurdist supporting gems from Orson Bean and Mary Kay Place, plus witty cameos by Charlie Sheen, Sean Penn, and Brad Pitt. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Being John Malkovich" is a clever, outrageous 10. It's a film of astonishing and beguiling originality.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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