Being John Malkovich (1999) USA
Being John Malkovich Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Spike Jonze
Studio:Polygram USA Video
Producer:Sandy Stern, Steve Golin, Various, Michael Stipe, Vincent Landay
Writer:Charlie Kaufman
Date Added:2007-03-05
Purchased On:2007-05-03
Awards:Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 45 wins & 44 nominations
Genre:John Cusack
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Subtitles:English, Spanish, French
Spike Jonze  ...  (Director)
Charlie Kaufman  ...  (Writer)
Orson Bean  ...  Dr. Lester
Ned Bellamy  ...  Derek Mantini
W. Earl Brown  ...  
Kevin Carroll  ...  Cab Driver
John Cusack  ...  Craig Schwartz
Cameron Diaz  ...  Lotte Schwartz
K.K. Dodds  ...  Wendy
Gerald Emerick  ...  
Willie Garson  ...  Guy in Restaurant
Reginald C. Hayes  ...  Don (as Reggie Hayes)
Catherine Keener  ...  Maxine Lund
Madison Lanc  ...  Daughter at Puppet Show
John Malkovich  ...  John Horatio Malkovich
Byrne Piven  ...  Captain Mertin
Mary Kay Place  ...  Floris
Charlie Sheen  ...  
Octavia Spencer  ...  Woman in Elevator (as Octavia L. Spencer)
Eric Weinstein  ...  Father at Puppet Show
Judith Wetzell  ...  Tiny Woman
Comments: Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can.

Summary: While too many movies suffer the fate of creative bankruptcy, Being John Malkovich is a refreshing study in contrast, so bracingly original that you'll want to send director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman a thank-you note for restoring your faith in the enchantment of film. Even if it ultimately serves little purpose beyond the thrill of comedic invention, this demented romance is gloriously entertaining, spilling over with ideas that tickle the brain and even touch the heart. That's to be expected in a movie that dares to ponder the existential dilemma of a forlorn puppeteer (John Cusack) who discovers a metaphysical portal into the brain of actor John Malkovich.
The puppeteer's working as a file clerk on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a Manhattan office building; this idea alone might serve as the comedic basis for an entire film, but Jonze and Kaufman are just getting started. Add a devious coworker (Catherine Keener), Cusack's dowdy wife (a barely recognizable Cameron Diaz), and a business scheme to capitalize on the thrill of being John Malkovich, and you've got a movie that just gets crazier as it plays by its own outrageous rules. Malkovich himself is the film's pièce de résistance, riffing on his own persona with obvious delight and--when he enters his own brain via the portal--appearing with multiple versions of himself in a tour-de-force use of digital trickery. Does it add up to much? Not really. But for 112 liberating minutes, Being John Malkovich is a wild place to visit. --Jeff Shannon