HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Adrift
Never a Dull Moment
McQueen
Ugly Duckling, The
Apostle
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Hereditary
Cup Fever
Peril for the Guy
3 Days in Quiberon
Club, The
Best F(r)iends: Volume 1
Pili
Suspect, The
Baxter!
Dead Night
Thoroughbreds
Ghost and the Darkness, The
Strike Commando
Molly
Full Alert
Up the Academy
Darling Lili
Tehran Taboo
Follow That Bird
I, Olga Hepnarová
Finders Keepers
Breadwinner, The
All About Steve
Bad Samaritan
   
 
Newest Articles
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
   
 
  Confessions of a Dangerous Mind That’s Showbiz!Buy this film here.
Year: 2002
Director: George Clooney
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Rutger Hauer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jerry Weintraub
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: There's surely no one better to adapt the memoirs of trash-TV pioneer Chuck Barris than Charlie Kaufman, whose scripts for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation proved assured meshings of fact and fiction. Barris is the man who created ratings smashes The Dating Game and the no-talent contest The Gong Show during the 70s; less well known are Barris’s claims that for several years he also moonlighted as a CIA hitman, and committed some 33 murders while working for them. Did he? Who knows? But Kaufman ensures that it makes for a more interesting film than a straight stick-to-the-facts biography might.

Making his directing debut is George Clooney, who stamps his intent in inventive style, using black and white and washed-out colours as often as traditional film stock, merging scenes into one and rarely keeping his camera still. It does get a little much at times, but one has to admire Clooney’s determination to make something out-of-the ordinary. You can definitely see the influence of some of the directors Clooney has worked with in the past, in particular Steven Soderberg (who executively produces), David O. Russell and the Coen brothers.

Clooney also pops up in a supporting role as Barris’s shady CIA contact, and there are amusing appearances from Julia Roberts as a fellow spook with whom Barris has an affair, and Rutger Hauer’s veteran assassin. But it’s Sam Rockwell and Drew Barrymore who anchor the film, playing Barris and his long-suffering girlfriend Penny. Barrymore is her usual sweet-natured self, but the contradiction between the no-ties relationship she advocates and the fidelity she really craves from Chuck is convincingly done.

As Barris, Sam Rockwell performs a superb job of mimicking the flippant, nervous energy of this working class Jew made good, a highly literate man torn between craving popular success and awareness that this success has been achieved through mind-numbing trash. His slow descent into a semi-crazed state – driven by the belief that there is a CIA mole out to kill him – is both alarming and hilarious.

Unfortunately, during this last quarter the film becomes a little unstuck. Clooney has maintained such a jokey tone until this point – even the cold-blooded murders of predominantly-communist US ‘enemies’ are played for laughs – that when Barris’s ‘other’ job starts catching up on him, it’s a little hard to feel too much sympathy, no matter how hard Rockwell tries. More successful is the breakdown of his and Penny’s relationship, although this too is resolved a bit neatly.

But it’s generally a lot of fun, and a good counterpoint to Auto Focus, Paul Schrader’s similarly themed but a considerably darker study of sex-addicted Hogan Heroes star Bob Crane. And watch out for a hilarious split-second cameo from Clooney and Roberts’ Ocean’s Eleven co-stars Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 7840 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

George Clooney  (1961 - )

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Clooney became a household name with the TV hospital drama ER before going on to star in films like Three Kings, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ocean's Eleven and Gravity. Set up production company Section Eight Ltd with Steven Soderbergh, and made a successful directorial debut with the skewed Chuck Barris biopic Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Clooney's second film at the helm was 2005's acclaimed drama Good Night, and Good Luck which he followed with sporting drama Leathernecks, political drama The Ides of March and wartime caper The Monuments Men.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
   

 

Last Updated: