Dream Big
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Review by Ross Anthony

The famous short story by James Thurber (which first appeared in a 1939 issue of The New Yorker influenced and inspired many a writer - myself included. Among other incarnations, in 1947 Danny Kaye starred in an adapted version, Stiller's variation is not a remake of Kaye's. Instead, Stiller decides to update Mitty and his surroundings to modern day.

Stiller also paints this film with a sweet artistic sense from the opening credits to the poetic tease-piecing of Life's theme. The film flips nicely between reality and dream, and includes a rich supply of real reaction shots as to make clear the negative side of zoning out. Unlike most films these days that start and end with high-impact action or drama, Walter Mitty takes its time settling in and easing out -- and it works. That said, the resolution seems supplied in two acts. The second one is sweet, but feels a bit tacked on. I thought for sure the film was going to end at the fade-to-black (prior to the skeletal airport security scene) which would have been very brave and poetic. I would have loved it. But, (really just guessing here) the many product sponsors would have had various conniption fits and so the second more traditional resolution was drafted and filmed. Interestingly enough, that one ends with a fade-to-white.

Filmmakers pace the production perfectly and package it with a good sense of humor. Despite the obvious product placement, I really enjoyed Stiller's Mitty. The "Space Oddity" music video scene is particularly inspiring. I screened this at my local theatre, and I should mention that about half the audience applauded upon its conclusion (quite a rarity, and the sincerest of complements to a picture).

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

  • Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Copyright © 2013.
  • Starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Sean Penn. Directed by Ben Stiller. Written by Steve Conrad. 20th Century Fox.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 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. 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: Saturday, 28-Dec-2013 11:26:31 PST