19 September 2005 | stimpil
Not so live from the Toronto International Film Festival
This movie has lots of potential, directed by first-time (well, first feature film at least) director Joshua Stern, and starring big names like Jessica Lange, Nick Nolte, Aaron Eckhart, Brittany Murphy, Alan Cumming, Sir Ian McKellen, and last but DEFINITELY not least, super-awesome retired MTV VJ Bill Bellamy. Oh, and there was this other guy William Hurt that the organizers seemed to make a big deal of but nobody really clapped when they said his name so I'm guessing he's not that important.
The story is about a psychiatrist whose father committed suicide after writing a highly acclaimed and much beloved children's book, Neverwas. He returns to the asylum where his father was once treated to find a job, in hopes of really helping the patients. Once there, he learns some interesting things about his father's story.
The movie overall was good, but it has some significant flaws. There is a love story that is totally unnecessary and contributes nothing to the story uncomfortably wedged in, but that's Hollywood for you. There are also some pretty significant plot holes, and there are many things in the story that aren't really explained very well, and are sort of left to the audience to guess how exactly they happened. Overall, I'd recommend it, but you don't need me to tell you that, because it will more than likely do great at the box office this year. Plus, there's a good chance that Sir Ian McKellen will be nominated for an Oscar this year for his role as Crazy Guy #4, because everybody knows the quickest way to an Oscar nomination is to either gain 50 lbs for a role, play a retard, or play a crazy person.
Afterward, the director answered a few audience questions (which were mostly mundane and asinine), but the highlight was definitely when Nick Nolte (who looked like a Halloween costume and was quite possibly slightly drunk), stumbled up to the microphone to answer a question. He went on and on about what he had for breakfast that day and how when he was a kid he used to fight giants with magic laser beams and whatever the hell else Nick Nolte talks about, I really couldn't understand what he was saying.
All in all, more enjoyable than not.