Length: 142 minutes
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writers: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard & Charles McKeown
Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Ian Richardson, Peter Vaughan, Kim Greist
Music: Michael Kamen
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration; currently #240 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a man in a bureaucratic dystopia obsesses over a woman from his dreams
How I saw it: on video several times (used to have on DVD), most recently (rented from Netflix) yesterday
Special effects/design: Great.
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay). I used to think this movie was great, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe it was just because I loved other Gilliam movies, so I thought I should love it. Or maybe it’s the same reason that every young person who hasn’t read too many books thinks 1984 is the best thing ever. In any case, I was pretty bored watching this yesterday. The visuals are great, but they rarely actually contribute to the storytelling. There are some great scenes, mostly when it’s being silly, and some great acting from Holm and Palin (meanwhile, De Niro is pretty bad), but the story just doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it too much.
Objective Rating: 7/10 (Pretty good) 2.9/4 (Good).