When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
The manager of the negative assets sector of Life magazine, Walter Mitty, has been working for sixteen years for the magazine and has a tedious life, not going anywhere but from his home to his job and vice-versa. He is an escapist, daydreaming into a world of fantasy many times a day. Walter has a crush on the recently hired Cheryl Melhoff but he is too shy to invite her on a date and he is trying to contact her via online dating. The magazine is preparing to release its last printed edition and the loathsome manager of transition Ted Hendricks is preparing an inevitable downsizing over the next few days. Walter has been the liaison between the magazine and the mysterious independent photographer Sean O'Connell who has sent to him a package of negatives and a wallet as a gift for his work. Sean also suggests to the senior management the use of negative 25 for the cover of the last edition. However, Walter cannot find the negative that is missing. Walter has no means to contact Sean ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Paramount wanted to start filming on December 12, 2005, despite lack of a final budget, because they would lose the remake rights if they didn't start filming before December 20. Owen Wilson dropped out in October 2005 over creative differences. The Hollywood Reporter speculated that Walter Mitty began to falter after Paramount failed to cast a female lead to star opposite Wilson. Scarlett Johansson had reportedly emerged as the front-runner after screen testing with Wilson earlier in October, but a deal was never signed. Paramount executives 'Brad Grey (I)' and Gail Berman decided to put Walter Mitty in turnaround in November 2005. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. found favor at Twentieth Century Fox. In May 2007, it was announced that Mike Myers was attached to star in the title role. Jay Kogen was hired to write a new script specifically tailored for Myers. See more »
The fishing vessel crewmen show Walter a wildly inaccurate map. It shows the Eyjafjallajökull volcano nestled deep in a fjord in what appears to be the Westfjords region in the northwest corner of the island. Eyjafjallajökull is located on the coastline in the Southern Region. See more »
[reciting Life Magazine's Motto]
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.
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The making and authorized distribution of this film supported over 15,000 jobs and involved hundreds of thousands of work hours. See more »
In Afghanistan on the snow covered Himalayan Mountains grizzled and world wise Sean O'Connell played by Sean Penn gazes at his coveted photo moment. Sean says that all he wants is to be "in the moment". Sean Penn is selfless gravitas in this moment as he confides in Ben Stiller's exasperated mild mannered Walter Mitty, who literally travels to the ends of the earth to track down the maverick old-school legendary photographer. Be in the moment and be present in life--are the eloquently poignant lyrics of Director Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".
I loved the James Thurber short story which Writer Steve Conrad based his update. Walter is the chronic day dreamer, an escape from his ordinary life. At times Director Stiller and Writer Conrad teeter capriciously all over the narrative landscape including a hysterical and touching eHarmony thread. Granted they humorously frame Walter's "zone outs" from reality. One obscure gag from "Benjamin Button" is nearly wacky enough to spiral into incoherence—fortunately it does not. There is the amazing upside. In a joyously freeing scene Walter skateboards down the winding roads of Iceland; spectacularly filmed by Stuart Dryburgh. Kristen Wiig in a touching turn goes unplugged with David Bowie's "Ground Control to Major Tom". All the curious rifting I think is forgivable for its noble purpose. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" celebrates being present in life. No one is alone.
Ben Stiller is quietly heroic navigating Walter's transformation into the unknown. His blank stares as Walter "zones out" touch the depth of our own vulnerabilities. He is bold, funny, and aware. Walter Mitty (Stiller) is a photo negative archiver at Life Magazine. He has given up on his dreams, taking on the financial and emotional stress of his aging Mom brilliantly played by Shirley MacLaine, about to enter a care home. His sister is flighty wannabe actress Odessa (good Kathryn Hahn), dreams of playing Rizzo in "Grease". Walter joined eHarmony so he can date Cheryl Melhof (Kristen Wiig), who works in the same office. Wiig charms as Cheryl, the quirky single Mom of skateboarder son Rich (Marcus Antturi). Cheryl is smart and pretty, and is actually interested in Walter, if he had a clue.
Life Magazine has been taken over by another Company. To transition over to an on-line magazine, Ted Hendricks (brilliantly arrogant Adam Scott) heads the restructuring corporate team. Ted is a major jerk— arrogant and not as smart as he thinks. Walter is the sole personal contact of legendary cover photographer Sean O'Connell (Penn). When Sean's photo negative for the cover of Life's last newsstand issue is missing, Ted focuses his attention on Walter. Sean claims this is his best photo of his career. Walter must find the missing negative to save his job and possibly win over Cheryl. Working with Cheryl, Walter starts his search in Greenland. Somehow diverting to Iceland, Walter calls Cheryl from a Papa John's Pizza there. It all ties in.
Ben Stiller is inspiring, as "Walter Mitty" amazingly never takes itself seriously. The movie joyfully celebrates life as illustrated by the beautiful soccer game with Walter and Sean in the Afghan mountains. Stiller makes us pull for Walter as he reclaims his power. Kristen Wiig is funny and compassionate as Walter's gentle muse. She is surprising. Sean Penn is awesome as Sean O'Connell, strong and whimsically wise. Shirley MacLaine anchors in her Mother's unconditional love for her son Walter, without many words. Patton Oswald nearly steals the movie as Todd, the eHarmony profile adviser. Warm and hysterical he punctuates Walter's transformational journey. Stiller reminds us with humor and soul that Life is wonderful when we are present in it. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is funny and beautiful.
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