Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 2002
Directed by
Mark Romanek
95 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

One Hour Photo

Although suffering, particularly in its establishing stage, from the kind of heavy-handedness that mainstream American cinema requires, One Hour Photo is for the most part an engrossing thriller/character study with a career-best performance from Robin Williams as Sy the Photo Guy, a quiet little nobody who lives vicariously through other people's photos. With Insomnia (also 2002) Williams began to move away from his characteristic one-note funny guy persona but here he makes a clean break (bar one unfortunate scene late in the movie where lying on a hotel bed, he appears to have washed off his make-up and reverted to being Robin Williams).

Writer/director Romanek overstates his case in the opposition between drabbest-of-drab Sy and the designer family of which he yearns to be a part (although one asks if they're so designer what the heck are they doing shopping at SavMart with the suburban hoi polloi) and is quiet unrelenting, some would say laborious, in developing said opposition. And as a comment on the spiritual corrosiveness of consumer capitalism, Joel Schumacher's 1993 film Falling Down had a lot more credibility.

Nevertheless, the distance between the opening and closing scenes occupied by Sy's story told in flashback is well paced by Romanek, a music video director making his first feature, effectively leading us into the vortex of Sy's collapsing picture perfect world in the format of a nail-chewing thriller.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst