Mr. Nobody (2009) (Not Rated)
This review contains SPOILERS!
The first time I heard about "Mr. Nobody" I was told that: "It makes 'Inception' look like child's play."
It better be good. Yes, I admit to being biased.
I'm not sure what took me so long to track down this movie, perhaps it's the inaccessibility to it, perhaps not. But in between the high praise and recommendation of the movie and actually seeing it, a few things happened: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Upstream Color", "2001: A Space Odyssey", and "The Tree of Life". These are some of the most complicated, complex, and unexplainable movies I've ever seen, so when the time came to actually to watch "Mr. Nobody" maybe it wasn't as wonderfully confusing as was originally thought.
That being said, it's also borderline impossible to talk about the film without inadvertently spoiling something, so I won't even try.
The movie begins with several death scenes, all the same man. You see him sitting in the bathtub and a man shoots him in the chest. Then he's in a space station as it's flying along and then the whole ship explodes. You also see him lying wide-eyed on a gurney, dead.
Then we go someplace else, the future. The year is 2092 and this man that we've being seeing dying and dead is the oldest living 'mortal'. It would seem that he has dementia because he can't remember how old he is or what year it is.
There is a man who is "helping" him, more like studying him actually. The man has face markings that look like a maze—the society of the future is very....interesting.
Through many conversations and scenes, hypnosis is used on the old man and we travel back in his head to when he was a child...to remember.
In 2092, nothing is known of the old man. He is a very famous mystery that no one can figure out. He name is Nemo and he calls himself Mr. Nobody.
His interviewer uses hypnosis to gain some form of reference for this mysterious mortal man.
Nemo was a very unique child, when the angels of heaven sent him down to earth they never pressed their finger to his lips which means that he can see the past and the future (much like the Tralfamodorians of Slaughterhouse Five). When you're an angel baby, you can pick your parents and so Nemo does. He picks a shy couple, because the mom smells nice and the dad seems kindly.
It only gets weirder from here.
Watching "Mr. Nobody" is like watching an adult movie made by Dr. Seuss.
Several different lives are lived by Nemo and we see almost all of each one of them. Different possibilities and parallel universes...what is going on?
To be fair, the work that "Mr. Nobody" most resembles is Cloud Atlas. I felt that the movie was just being complicated for the sake of complication, yet it is not so. The last ten minutes give the story some meaning and provide a very nice ending to the whole ordeal.
Jaco Van Dormeal wrote and directed this puzzling movie and he must be commended for his ingenuity and his originality.
The film is shot with an independent feel and relies very heavily on its soundtrack.
Jared Leto plays Nemo and gives a very good performance. He has to be several versions of the same man, yet true to himself.
The cast is rounded out by virtual unknowns like Sarah Polley, Rhys Ifans, Toby Regbo, Juno Temple, Linh Dan Pham, and Allan Corduner. Besides Jared Leto, the only actor who I recognized was Diane Kruger, who is just as good as Leto.
My qualms with the movie are very small and are too petty to actually put into words.
The stylization of the film is very, very attractive.
This is a rare movie because it sticks in your mind. I find myself not being able to stop thinking about it and I know that soon I will have to see it again.
It's rich, unforgettable, and gorgeous.
But in the end, does it actually make "Inception" look like child's play? Alas, for me, it does not.
Score: 3 and a half stars out of 4
Posted by Micah Jones