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|Index||71 reviews in total|
36 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
Just great, 17 December 2001
Author: Wayne Malin (firstname.lastname@example.org) from United States
Funny, absorbing and smart movie about a no-budget film and the people trying to make it. The movie plays around with reality and dreams without getting too obscure or serious. It's well-done, well-acted (one of those rare movies where the entire cast is great), very funny and very smart. Naturally, this bombed...it was TOO intelligent for mainstream audiences and how do you market a film like this. But it plays on IFC all the time and it's basically one of the best films of its year and one of the best on the art of films and filmmaking. If you even slightly like movies, you have to see this. Don't miss it!
22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
A great hidden documentary of a film, 1 July 2002
Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
For all of us who have worked on a film production before, watching Living in Oblivion is an honor and an enjoyment. For once you have experienced what it is like to work in that kind of atmosphere with that group of people, you accept it even more. A story about a director making a movie, Living in Oblivion holds many true tidbits and crazy moments that occur regularly on a film shoot. The relationship between the director and the D of P, the treatment of the actors between the other actors and the crew, and most importantly, how a director holds himself with one member of the production with another. Altogether, you got an amazing film that tells it like it is. A pure, a true enjoyment.
22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Very funny film about the hazards of independent film making, 4 December 1998
Author: anonymous from Bronx, NY
Living In Oblivion is a mad-cap, zany, and often surprising film about everything that can go wrong while making an independent film. Superbly acted by the entire cast, especially Buscemi, Keener, Martens, and Mulrony, the movie is full of twists and turns that keep you longing for more. Tom DiCillo's wit and humor are outrageous in the best sense. Beware, however. The movie is full of well-used and perfectly-placed profanity. Not for the weak at heart where such language is concerned. If you've got the stomach for good, solid funny times with lots of 'off' words, this one will do it for you. I give it a "10". I've seen it more than 3 times and its humor holds through each viewing.
22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
What a dream of a movie, 13 January 2001
Author: exit127 from Yonkers, New York
This is one of my favorite movies and it aggravates me that it's the kind of movie that always seems to slip through the cracks. In other words, nobody watched it. It's hilariously funny and yet the public in general don't either get it or find it funny. I not only laughed a lot but found the acting to be excellent. Buscemi's performance of a Indi' film director going through the rigors of dealing with inept film crew, egotistical actor's, in-crew relationships and not to mention a certain dwarf with a major chip on his shoulder. If you are a film buff and know a little more than most about movie's rent it. 10 out of 9
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A smart, biting sleeper, 9 July 2003
"Living in Oblivion" is one of your video store's coolest secrets.
Writer-director Tom Dicillo takes a satiric look at independent films while
capturing the ups and downs of making a movie. For the cast and crew of the
film within this film, the downs hilariously outnumber the
Steve Buscemi shines in an all-too-rare lead role as the frustrated director. There's also great work by James LeGros as the pompous leading man, Catherine Keener as the insecure leading lady, and Dermot Mulroney as the broken-hearted cinematographer.
Dicillo is especially concerned with the nightmares and daydreams of his characters, and rightly adopts a dreamy visual style that shifts between black and white and color.
It all adds up to an uncommonly intelligent, artistic, and funny(!) comedy that deserves your attention.
16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Film maker's delight, 22 August 2004
Author: mootosk from Sydney
This film captures the true essence of the stresses involved on a film
set. The story is about the characters involved in the process rather
than the film-within-a-film. While the film is funny it is so close to
the bone that I was initially surprised to see it appear in the comedy
Steve Buscemi is right at home in this film, his influence rubs off on the support actors, and his stress is convincing. This film makes you squirm but laugh - unlike conventional comedies - in this film you identify and live with the actors.
The screenplay timing is superb and taunts the audience to an almost stressful level. Offset this with lots of comedy and you're left with a powerful mix. You are almost relieved when it is over... but you are left with great memories of a strange but enjoyable film.
Absolutely the highest possible recommendation, especially if you can relate to film making, acting or directing.
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
One of the most entertaining films about film-making ever made, 5 October 2005
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
Steve Buscemi may or may not have been the first choice by
writer/director Tom DiCillo for the lead role of Nick, the director
behind the three (err, one) film(s) being made within the film Living
in Oblivion, but it works so well it's impossible to see anyone else in
the role. Buscemi, who is one of the prime character actors of the past
fifteen years, has that range of being grounded, of being out of
control, of being funny, and of being sincere even in the strangest
circumstances. His character, as the quintessential indie film director
of the film, tries to keep some control on what goes on, but as is
seen, things don't go quite as planned.
Living in Oblivion is one of those little delights for a film buff to see, or perhaps of a particular film buff. On a personal level I connect with some of this as I was a production assistant on indie films that were not far off from this. DiCillo, whether or not you've been in situations like this (which most of us haven't) brilliantly captures the coldness on a set, the uncomfortableness, the technical difficulties, and just the plain old emotional toll that goes on with the film-making process (notably, when it's under a million dollars being made). That it's a comedy of errors helps a lot, and that you never really know which way the story will turn at times. The film is split up in three acts, the first (for me) being the strongest and most affecting, as Nick tries to direct Catherine Keener's Nicole Springer in a heartfelt talk with her mother. Multiple takes bring on more woes, until Nick finally snaps (one of the funniest scenes perhaps in any film from the 90's). The other two segments come closer to being as great, one being a slick scene involving a buff man and Nicole, and the other being a very strange dream that has some kinks to work out.
I've seen this film now several times, and the first time my enjoyment was more in the surface comedy of it all, and of course the performances. But with each passing view I get more and more what film-making, and what makes 'indie films' or just films in general, so appealing- there's drama, but there has to be some humor to get in the seams; there's romance, but not always in the ways you'd expect; when it's realer, more power to it. The ending also, while maybe the weaker part of the film, is still charming, and gives an idea as to what pleasures can come from such chaos on the set. I love it.
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Funny and interesting, if convoluted, movie-about-movie., 25 September 1999
Author: EThompsonUMD from Massachusetts
Living in Oblivion is an unusual, funny, and interesting example of the movie-about-movies genre, focusing on the low budget, independent movie making scene. The lead performances by Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener are first-rate, and the supporting cast is excellent as well. The film veers from satire to realism to surrealism in depicting the problems and tensions involved in off-off-Hollywood filmmaking. One problem with its structure, though, is the repeated "dream trick." Its first use creates shock and interest, but its second use creates a serious distraction in the third act since the viewer keeps wondering whose dream he or she may be in this time. Overall, an enjoyable film - highly recommended to indie film buffs.
9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
A MUST for film school students!, 24 May 2005
Author: Jonathan Fain (email@example.com) from Tel Aviv, Israel
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Sundance film festival award winning comedy film depicts the
process of making an independent/student film quite cleverly. Yet
another "A movie about making a movie" sub-genre, written and directed
by Tom DiCillo, I believe it his best film yet.
Sliced into three parts, the movie features the difficulties of film-making through the character's dreams. Yet, what is dream and what is real, you don't realize till they wake up.
Buscemi plays Nick Reve (Reve in french means Dream), the frustrated "trying to get it right" director, and you know by Murphy's Law that when he shouts "ACTION!" something will go wrong. It is amusing yet almost annoying as we get to be frustrated with Buscemi's character, and after that, it appears that it was just a dream.
The character of the arrogant actor Chad Palamino played by James LeGros, resembles Brat Pitt in appearance. It is said that Pitt was cast for this role, and since he was busy with another project, LeGros was chosen. Some say that Palamino's character might be Tom DiCillo's way of portraying Pitt's behavior on the set of his debut film "Johnny Suede" in 1991. Dicillo denies it.
The pearls of this film:
* The scene where Palamino shouts "The only reason I took this part was because someone said you were tight with Quentin Tarantino!", which is a role model for success in the indie film industry since Tarantino is the recent indie filmmaker that became a star director.
* The transition from monochrome to color and vice-versa as a difference between reality and film reality, a lovely gimmick.
* The 30 second "Room Tone" scene, where everybody is fantasizing about their life dream.
This film is a treat for filmmakers and in general a "fun" film. People who are not filmmakers will enjoy this film as well. The film is only 91 minutes and I wanted more. I give this movie 10/10 and just because it is so underrated in the majority of movie rating websites.
9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Indie Hell, 20 July 2003
Author: graham clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Indie director Tom DiCillo has produced a small (as yet) body of work, but
has shown consistent flair for making movies which exude great affection for
his characters. This affection is contagious; the actors seem to relish
their roles and in turn many viewers will share the enjoyment.
Indie stalwarts Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener (who's graced four DiCillo movies) shine as director and actress on a trouble laden indie shoot. Keener does a virtuoso turn in a scene calling for her to perform the same take over and over, each time with less and less conviction.
"A Box of Moonlight" and "Real Blonde" while having comic sides to them, also have much depth. "Living in Oblivion" is an outright comedy; it's lightweight, but very funny.
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