28 November 2007

The Man in the Chair

This is an amateur-ish movie about amateurism, even though the cast includes an array of pros (not least Christopher Plummer, who delivers a terrific performance), and the movie is ostensibly about a group of seasoned (if long-retired) professionals assisting a film-loving high-school delinquent in making his first movie.

But the most important thing about all of the characters in the movie is their love for their work--amateur by definition. The script even includes that old saw, "Love your job and you'll never work a day in your life." (The quotation is attributed to Churchill, which I could not verify; rather, the source seems to be Confucius.)

Regardless, it is a charming movie in the way that amateurs are charming; and annoying in that way also. The script isn't as good as it could be, the experimental effects are a little grating, the generation gap signals not so well chosen; however, the movie has a winning sweetness overall, and is finally quite moving.

Especially recommended for film buffs.

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