The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Director: Ben Stiller, Main Cast: Ben StillerKristen WiigShirley MacLaineKathryn HahnAdam ScottSean Penn;

I’m not a fan of Ben Stiller so, usually, I try to avoid his films but I gave this one a chance, mostly due to the positive vibe of the trailer and the idea of a daydreamer as main character (something I can relate to). So I stepped into the cinema with low expectations ready to see what’s what. Well, it was a nice surprise: Stiller as the titular Walter Mitty, introverted and quite man who works for Life magazine, delivers a performance that’s unostentatious, subdued and quite effective. Mitty lives an anonymous life as supervisor of the negatives  assets department, witnessing stories and adventures of others. He escapes the plainness of his days through vivid, fulfilling reveries until, one day, Walter starts to live the experiences he only dreamt about in order to retrieve a precious negative for the cover of the final issue of the magazine. We go along for the ride with Walter and meet bizarre characters, see breathtaking scenery and appreciate the small things of life. It is a pleasant journey and “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”, as T.S. Elliot said, which fits quite nicely as ending of this movie. The supporting cast is very good, from Kristen Wiig as Walter’s love interest to Shirley MacLaine as his mother to Adam Scott as arrogant but not too bright executive. We get also a cameo of Sean Penn as the elusive but extremely talented photographer  who sets in motion the whole thing. I’ve read angry reviews about excessive product placement in this movie, so much that was considered distracting and detrimental, but I wasn’t particularly bothered by it, maybe because I was too surprised by Ben Stiller’s acting and enjoying the beautiful cinematography. Unexpected. —7/10

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