Midlife Culture Crisis
A Hologram for a King
Review by Ross Anthony

An American sales executive finds Saudi Arabia as good a place as any to face his midlife crisis.

Superb opening. It's buoyant and darkly funny, and backed by one of the best songs of the 80's - The Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime."

Despite the fact, that this type of energy is never again reprised, the film does remain darkly funny and does not disappoint. Yes, it's pace is not bubbly, but determined, and actually sharply brisk at points (for a quiet little indie). The plot is wonderfully unpredictable -- not entirely - but mostly. The unexpected turns churn up a silent momentum both in story and emotion. It's a quirky little ride.

Tom Hanks carries this strong story well. The editing is crisp and well timed, and I greatly appreciated the touch of surreal.

Slightly reminiscent of "Lost in Translation" or the lesser known "Outsourced."

Save for the cabbie (who just felt too American), the supporting actors were all wonderful and the direction smart. I also enjoyed the minimalist, but emotive score.

Tom Hanks says of the film (from the press notes): "I was already a big fan of Dave Egger's work, having read a bunch of his stuff … then I read A Hologram for a King in one sitting and my only question when I finished it was whether or not he wanted a movie made out of his book." And the director says of the film that it's "funny in a meaningful, complicated, but fascinating way."

-- Books by Ross Anthony, Author/Illustrator --


  • A Hologram for a King. Copyright © 2016.
  • Written and Directed by Tom Tykwer based on the book. Starring Tom Hanks.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Thursday, 21-Apr-2016 15:25:03 PDT