Melinda and Melinda (USA, 2004)

vcZFFlqpF209ah3yzMWllxbYPTjDirected by: Woody Allen. One of the things I love about these movies is getting to see how every familiar face, every well-worn actor and their style, works hard to restrain themselves in order to serve the needs of the Woody Allen movie they’re lucky enough to be in. It’s as if their own personal quirks and habits, which most directors encourage in order to capitalize on their star status, are willfully stifled—or at least muted. In this movie, Will Ferrell isn’t the Will Ferrell we see in Adam McKay movies—he’s an actor in a Woody Allen movie, just as Larry David was in Whatever Works, as Anthony Hopkins was in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and basically everyone else with a fairly recognizable style. Really, I just love seeing different actors do their thing with an Allen script—and this one is another great one. It’s great seeing Jonny Lee Miller again. Really, it’s Will Ferrell playing the Woody Allen role: “What do you do for exercise?” “Tiddly-winks…and the occasional anxiety attack.” See what I mean? And it’s not as if Will Ferrell is the star of the show, or anyone else for that matter. When Woody Allen writes an ensemble piece, you get an ensemble piece. Wallace Shawn is just as important and memorable as Chiwetel Ejiofor, the actors you recognize just as much as the ones you don’t.

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One response to “Melinda and Melinda (USA, 2004)

  1. Pingback: 12 Years a Slave (UK/USA, 2013) | Offhand Reviews·

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