I like George Clooney enough that despite having lost pretty much all interest in seeing Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, I went ahead and saw it anyway. I was just very curious to see what he would be like as a director. Well, I wasn’t really disappointed, but unfortunately, I wasn’t blown away either.
Based on the autobiography of Chuck Barris, the creator of game shows like The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and most notoriously, The Gong Show, this is supposedly a true story. I haven’t done any real research on the subject, but the life this man claims to have lived seems very hard to believe. The movie however is about that life indeed, so I guess we’re supposed to believe what we see.
BUT, and that’s a huge BUT, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has thrown me for a loop before (I’m still stinging from ADAPTATION) so I’m not sure what to think.
But subject matter aside, this is a pretty good movie. Clooney’s pretty solid as a director, as well as a supporting character. Julia Roberts, well, she’s always good, you know?
She’s actually not the best actress in this particular movie though. I’d give that honor to Drew Barrymore, who has never been better. She really shines in this movie. It was a very pleasant surprise. As usual she looks great, but her acting is really great here.
This movie though, belongs to Sam Rockwell. As Chuck Barris, optimistic creator, "dangerous mind", and unkempt recluse, he’s absolutely brilliant. I knew he was a good actor, even though I was introduced to him via, of all things, a sci-fi comedy called Galaxy Quest. Since then I’ve seen him in other things, and he is really a dominant presence on screen. But I don’t think he’s ever been as good as he is in this movie. He’s really gotta get a lot of good buzz from it.
The movie itself never really glows as much as Rockwell himself, and I think it was a little too long, and kinda slow at times. The good performances help push it along though, and there’s some quick, but fun cameos too.
So give Clooney another chance at directing, give Rockwell more leading roles, and if you happen to see him walking down the street, keep away from Chuck Barris.