Friday, December 01, 2006
You know, I was prepared to be disappointed by Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, but that expectation was itself disappointed. This is a well-crafted, well-acted film. Sure, the tragic clown is an age-old cliche, but somehow this time around that tired old saw wasn't so toothless. George Clooney could not have made Good Night and Good Luck without tackling this ambitious project first, and I was surprised to note that Confessions is at the same level of clever construction. Sure, it's a bit too frenetic at times, but that matches the subject matter. Sam Rockwell is great as Chuck Barris, Clooney is great as a cool CIA wet jobber, Drew Barrymore is tolerable, Julia Roberts is her usual bland self--and there are many clever cameos and in-jokes. This may be Charlie Kaufman's least annoying screenplay to boot (after watching the deleted scenes makes me think Kaufman was as annoying as usual, but Clooney had the wisdom to cut much of the cloying self-indulgence).
I recall watching The Gong Show as a kid, and believe it was on after The Muppet Show when I was eight or nine years old. What a great hour of TV.
The deleted Gong Show sequence called The Baby Lady is worth the disc rental in and of itself. David Lynch's wet dream!