4 StarsBen Stiller proves himself an extremely talented force behind the camera, and never before has he been so appealing as an actor. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a tour de force, a fantastic film with a dynamite cast, subtle humor and amusing riffs on action-films and advertising. This updated retelling of the 1955 film was originally to star the rubber-faced Jim Carrey, when that fell through Stiller picked up the project and it’s hard to imagine anyone else inhabiting the character or directing the film, it’s that special.
Walter Mitty (Stiller) is an anonymous employee at Life magazine, he works in the lower floors away from all of his co-workers expect one. The two men are responsible for negative asset management, a very important job at a publication know for iconic front covers. The last of a rare breed of rogue photojournalists (Sean Penn) has sent Walter his latest stills, and the corporate brass handling the company takeover are set on using a particular frame for the last issue of the magazine. The problem is Walter can’t seem to find the missing image.
Using the existing images as a guideline Walter attempts to unravel a mystery regarding the whereabouts of Penn, while starting a friendship with an attractive co-worker (Kristen Wiig). The introverted Mitty can’t find the right words in social situations, but his imagination frees him to be the adventurous, creative and brave man he pictures himself as.
Nothing Stiller has done before will prepare you for the creative heights he reaches with the new classic The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It is an exhilarating and joyful tale that hits all the right notes without seeming too overly sentimental. The gorgeous cinematography captures astonishing visual landscapes in the urban and rural settings. While the actors prove themselves not only first-rate comedians but top-notch screen presences. I loved this movie.
Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn