In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy's identity come up, the host's life is thrown into chaos.
By working through problems stemming from his past, Tom Warshaw, an American artist living in Paris, begins to discover who he really is, and returns to his home to reconcile with his family and friends.
Gabriel Noone is a late night radio-host in a big city, specializing in spooky tales culled from his active imagination. When Gabriel's lover decides he needs some "space" and moves out, Gabriel descends into a funk until a publisher friend brings him a manuscript written by 14 year-old Pete Logand, a troubled young fan. Pete's story touches the vulnerable Gabriel deeply. Pete was severely abused by his parents and is now under the care of his former social worker, Donna Logand, who has adopted him. Pete is very ill and he and Donna are keeping a low profile in a small town in Wisconsin to avoid discovery by Pete's mother. Gabriel develops an unsettling long-distance telephone relationship with the boy and his guardian. Nothing is as it seems and the skepticism of friends causes Gabriel to become suspicious of Donna and her motives, so he tries to resolve the loose ends by traveling to Wisconsin to confront Donna and Pete. But this effort is largely unsuccessful and we are left ...Written by
The zip code for the Montgomery, Wisconsin address starts with a '2', but all Wisconsin zip codes start with 5. See more »
[Black screen. Sounds of squeaking chair as someone sits down, microphone squealing, paper rustling, and a thump]
[Sound of one breath blown into microphone]
[Unknown woman mumbles]
Yeah, let's try it like that.
[Unknown woman mumbles again]
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The production wishes to thank ... the residents of 95th Street, NYC ... See more »
When it comes to movies I can be pretty picky, and I'll complain about anything and everything that is done wrong. While every movie has its flaws, The Night Listener had an exceptionally low count.
If you read the last review (it was hard, since half of it was written in caps and it contained no actual information about the movie), you may have been led to believe that this movie was not too well done. Unfortunately, if you read more than 3 lines into that same review, you discovered the poster's reason for disdain: he/she does not like the fact that the director is gay (or that the production team smokes crack...apparently).
So, despite the fact that I have never written a review before, I thought this movie deserved one based on its merits, not the sexual orientation of its director. Let's go over a quick checklist first: 1. Great plot? Absolutely. I won't give a shred of it away, but the plot is highly compelling and definitely not what one would expect based on the commercials. This is a thriller, not a horror, and it should be approached as such. The story really will amaze you, even more so because it's true (and the plot did stay quite faithful to the actual events).
2. Wonderful Acting? Oh Yes. Robin Williams long ago broke free from the chains of the comedy type-cast, and he has since flourished in serious roles for which many people would have wrote him off just a decade ago. He once again achieves high form in his role in The Night Listener, playing a radio host who becomes increasingly troubled by and entangled in a case of...well, I'll let you see for yourself.
3. Excellent direction? Certainly. Now, unlike the other poster to which I referred, I actually know something about direction. I've been sutdying the art of direction at school now for 3 years. Of course I really don't think that makes a lick of difference (the only thing that matters is if YOU like the direction), but I thought I should simply establish once again that I'm basing my opinions here on something both substantial and relevant...for example: not the sexual orientation of the director (or the alleged drug habits of the production team, LOL).
Patrick Stettner's direction was moody and dark, and he allowed the angles and lighting to help create those so-sought-after feelings of "tension and release" rather than the messy, fast-paced camera-work and quick cuts we're so often subjected to today. Some people can truly show you a story through their camera, while other's feel as if they have to make the story with the camera. I really appreciate when someone these days has the courage to just use the camera as its supposed to be utilized, which is as an eyeball through which we all see.
4. Lighting, cinematography, and editing? Great all around. I've already wrote so much, and I could go on about these last three things for another ten paragraphs, so I'll just wrap it up.
In short, go see this movie. Don't listen to people who have alterior motives for trashing it, especially if they're so stupid that they unknowingly reveal that motive 1/4 of the way through their post. Enjoy the show! -Ben
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