On the Line: I’m attending a press screening at Sundance as opposed to a public one. All that means is the people I’m sitting with are allowed to eat in their seats and are more likely to make snarky comments about Robert Redford. I’ve heard about this flick for a while. Colin Hanks, John Malkovich, and even a little Tom Hanks. Doesn’t sound too Sundance-y but I’m game.
In the Theater: From the moment Malkovich enters I am thoroughly charmed. Buck Howard is a has-been by A-list entertainment standards but years after Johnny Carson, this oh-so-cheesy stage magician is still playing to at least half-full audiences across America. Armed with a half dozen catch phrases that feel all too authentic (“I love this town!”), Malkovich hires at-a-crossroads youngster (aren’t we all) Colin Hanks to be his road manager. Dad Tom throws in some star power in a couple scenes and Emily Blunt continues to proves she’s the real deal as Howard’s replacement publicist.
The Verdict: Not too hard to tell, right? Pound for pound, the most entertaining film I saw in Sundance. Malkovich is extraordinary. Hysterical, absurd, and all too human, in one fell swoop. See, he can play more than deranged creeps.
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