Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Written Review: Living in Oblivion

The film Living in Oblivion was one of the best, and most realistic, looks at low-budget filmmaking I’ve ever seen. From the cinematography, to the acting everything was a perfect representation of what it’s like to film something with no budget.
I absolutely loved the way that the simple camera movements during the behind the scenes sections highlighted the absolutely fantastic dialogue and yet when the perspective changes to the film within the film, they give the film a much more cinematic look.
The acting was also fantastic. I’ve always love Steve Buscemi work with the Coen brothers and even some of his less critically acclaimed work with Adam Sandler. His performance in Living in Oblivion rivals that of his great work in Fargo and Barton Fink. Also, all the other actors played their parts perfectly. Whether it was the awesome character of Wolf the DP or the fantastic performance of Catherine Keener as the downtrodden actress, all the actors brought a sense of realism and fantastic comedic timing to their various performances.
Of course, you cannot say anything about this film without talking about its writing which was far-and-away the centerpiece of this film. The writing of this film literally made me jealous of writer/director Tom DiCillo’s skill with the pen (or in our modern-age, a keyboard). This film had one of the most hilarious scripts I’d seen in awhile. However, this wasn’t just some talentless parody, this film held up a comedic mirror to the low-budget film industry (and self-parodies are always the best parodies).
Living in Oblivion was by far one of the best movies I’ve seen that was about the art of film itself. It’s creative cinematography, great performances, and superb writing made it a fantastic experience.

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