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Past Films

Staff Picks: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

  • Starring: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Director: Marc Forster
  • Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 113 min.

Staff Picks Series
Every month a member of the Moxie staff picks a film that impacted their lives and we put it up on the big screen.
January’s pick was made by Isabel Shirey.
What do you love about this film, and why do you want to share it with others?
“Stranger Than Fiction plays with reality in such a subtle and tasteful way. This film provides an artful depiction of what it means to be the protagonist in your own life. It has a unique take on locus of control and the concept of determinism that might induce an existential crisis in the most light-hearted of ways.”

Synopsis: An IRS auditor has his life interrupted by the sound of a personal narrator who knows his every thought, feeling and action, including when and where he will die.

"Willfully eccentric, odd in tone, it is an English major's comedy, a wry exploration of plot, narrative, character and a writer's imprint on her or his work."
- Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"It has a nifty premise and outstanding performances from Ferrell, as the protagonist-in-progress, and Emma Thompson, as his blocked creator."
- Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"A wondrously funny modern fairy tale, Stranger than Fiction manages to blend romance, satire and fantasy into a story that's both fully satisfying and patently absurd."
- Tom Long, Detroit News
"Will Ferrell delivers a moving and surprisingly delicate -- though not so surprisingly funny -- turn as the lonesome bureaucrat bedeviled by a voice only he hears."
- Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"Besides being inventive and witty, Stranger Than Fiction is a tribute to the power of literature. But art is not its only domain. It also delves into the world of ultimate certainties: death and taxes."
- Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Stranger Than Fiction is a meditation on life, art and romance, and on the kinds of responsibility we have. Such an uncommonly intelligent film does not often get made."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Yes, Stranger Than Fiction is a head trip. But it's a very friendly one, and well crafted at that."
- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"Crisp, eccentric and exhilarating."
- Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"This is a Ferrell you've never seen before, nailing a role that calls for breakneck humor in the final race against the clock and touching gravity in the love scenes with Gyllenhaal."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"The deader the deadpan the better. When Ferrell and Hoffman do their thing together, a charming bit of whimsy becomes something more. It becomes really, really funny."
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune