Getting Under His Skin
Being John Malkovich
Review by Ross Anthony

Ever feel like being someone else? Elvis, maybe? How about Madonna? Choice is not an option here. Would you pay 200 bucks to crawl into a small hole in the wall of a half size office building just to be in John Malkovich's head for 10 minutes? Huh? Would ya punk? That's the "mind-blowing" ride this picture offers ... well, not to you, but to other people in the film.

John Cusack is solid as the hippie radical puppeteer whose artistic talents with wooden dolls are as extreme as his psychotic behavior. The puppets, by the way, are fantastic. Their chop block shapes move with such grace and human-realism. Their faces eerily carved into the likeness of Cusack and Diaz. Diaz (Cusack's wife) and especially Keener (the bold, sexy distraction) deliver strong performances as well.

Malkovich must have had a blast doing this movie ... pretending to be Cusack, pretending to be himself. He's captivating as always. With more than a squirt of lime-twist humor, it's a tightly written adventure fantasy for the brave of open-mind.

"It's good in here Craig, better than in your wildest dreams." My complements to the writer and director. The exaggerated audio really helps to put you inside Malkovich's head. The ending credits also continue the luring surrealistic feel in visuals and music.

The title isn't just some alternative rock band sounding chime -- it's exactly what the film is about.

  • Being John Malkovich. Copyright © 1999. Rated R.
  • Starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and John Malkovich (of course).
  • Directed by Spike Jonze. Screenplay Charlie Kaufman.
  • Produced by Michael Stipe and Sandy Stern, Steve Colin,Vincent Landay at Gramercy/Single Cell/Propaganda/USA Films.


Copyright © 1999. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:18:57 PDT