Mr. Nobody (2009) Poster

(2009)

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9/10
What have I done to deserve this ?
Tieum16 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Mr Nobody, Nemo Nobody, is now 100 years old, the last mortal on earth in 2092, and he is about to die. Questioned about his life on his death bed by a journalist that sneaked in the hospital, he tells the stories of his lives. Yes, lives, his three lives, his three destinies between which he was unable to choose from. Three love stories, three very different existences conditioned by apparently meaningless decisions. Three paths, three wives, three families, three fates.

This genuinely mind blowing movie is an experience revolving around the notion of choice, the importance or futility of decisions, a complex story that questions randomness, and what our lives are made of. Illustrated by bribes of a science documentary enlightening us about concepts like time before and after the big bang, the extremely interesting superstition of the pigeon, the eventuality of the big crunch, the complexity of quantum mechanics and string theory. This is a journey into the human psyche and the ability to create and explore in our imagination all the possible moves, like a chess player, that would lead to different paths, different existences. Exceptionally imaginative, acutely funny and startling, this production reeks of intelligence and craftsmanship, breaks down linear storytelling into bits, only to shuffle the whole thing in a brilliantly orchestrated masterpiece. It reminded me of so many great experiences, from David Lynch movies to Jorge Luis Borges books, it's an exquisite bundle of intellect and emotion.

Choices, their meaning, why we choose this or that road through our lives, their consequences, whether we are aware of them of not. How many different lives could we be living ? Through the infinite possibilities facing each and every one of us, the good and the bad choices, every turn taken creates a new life, the most interesting of all is being alive. Chaos theory and butterfly effect to remind us how small we are in the randomness of the universe and yet so able to actively manifest the reality we desire. Nemo Nobody has to choose between leaving with his mother or stay with his father, the starting point of the exploration his available destinies. Unable to decide, he chooses both and takes us for a ride through an immensity of possible.

The filming is smooth and sequences linked in a flow of event that jumps back and forth through time, brilliantly edited with great attention for rhythm. The music score is so adequately put together that it adds to the already stunning staging efficiency of the directing by Jaco Van Dormael. I dare to say this is the very best movie of 2009 and will most likely go see it a second time next week, one can never get enough of these absolutely mind blowing experiences. Confusing and dazzling at the same time, it manages to spark the most interesting discussions about the meaning of life, in an attempt to pinpoint why we live it. Whatever you got planned for this week end, just drop it and go see that movie, you will not regret it.

There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite.

Jorge Luis Borges

(www.radiostationexp.blogspot.com)
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10/10
Genius
davee_b0y19 September 2009
Just caught the north American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. This is my first IMDb comment, doing it cause i saw no one else has written anything yet.

Jaco is an absolutely brilliant writer/director. I haven't seen too many art-house films, but I was pleasantly surprised by the tone which wasn't too serious, or pretentious. There were laugh out loud moments during a movie with themes concerning choice, destiny, and metaphysics.

I was enamoured by the love story, it was feel good without being Hollywood.

The visuals were amazing. I believe that Jaco explained that he used different DP's to film the different possible lives of Mr. Nobody. There were scenes set in the year 2092 that were absolutely stunning on the big screen.

I found the soundtrack to be awesome. Any movie with "Mr. Sandman" and "Where is my mind?" is alright by me.

The movie was extremely imaginative, original, funny, and will probably have me thinking about it and my own life for days after viewing.
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10/10
Why are you not watching it RIGHT NOW?
olga140317 April 2010
There's one thing about this film that makes me overlook the flaws:it's like nothing I've ever seen before. Some people walked out 20 minutes before the movie ended. I can't really explain to myself why ANYONE would do that (it was really tempting to ask but I literally couldn't take my eyes off the screen). It's really pointless to describe the plot because this movie is so much more then any summary could say. This film has so many stylistic, tonal and narrative changes that it seems absolutely mad for the first half hour. It's easily the most unique and worthy cinema experience in the last year, its feels very current. I could go on and on about the things I loved about this film but there's nothing right now that I would recommend seeing more to a person of any age, sex or taste in cinema. It's everything I could ask for in a film:funny, touching, thrilling, surreal, beautiful...
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10/10
Astonishing and profoundly moving!!
cstrac213 June 2010
This is the first time I have felt the need to post a review of a film, but the experience that this movie provided was so unique and profoundly moving that I feel compelled to post something of my thoughts.

I have just finished watching Mr Nobody after knowing nothing about the movie beforehand (perhaps a good thing as I may have avoided it otherwise), but was simply astonished by the originality, cinematography, acting, script, soundtrack and profoundly thought provoking ideas.

I realise that this film will not be to everyones taste, certainly I think it will not be fully comprehended by the younger generation as it does require a certain lifetime of experiences to relate, such as birth, love, marriage, children, separation, divorce, death, life changing choices etc.., but nevertheless it does make you deeply consider your own past decisions and future choices, and everyone of all ages will have made and will make these decisions.

The production values are very high and would not look out of place in a 'hollywood blockbuster' but it is the mix of cinematography and music mingled with the dramatic scenarios that make it truly memorable.

It is a difficult film to describe as it does not follow a traditional narrative structure, but that is what makes it so unique and truly memorable. An experience that will hopefully stay with you long after you have seen it. It certainly made for a hugely memorable experience for me. Others may differ in opinion, but I don't think anyone can argue that it is not intelligent, fresh, original and thought provoking.

Well done to all involved in providing something original, intelligent and very entertaining.
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10/10
Awesome but not for everyone
Quebec_Dragon28 July 2010
How to review this film without giving too much away? Throughout the film, I was constantly surprised and amazed. I think my mouth was hanging slightly open a few times from the brilliance on display. I was totally captivated from start to finish. Taken simply, it's a philosophical sci-fi film, but it's so much more than that. It's about choices, destinies, astrophysics, dreams and memories, just to name a few themes. Taken at its simplest, it's the jumbled recollections of the last mortal man, 118 years old, on Earth in 2092. The problem is that his memories are in total disorder and contradictory. In practice, it means that this is a very non-linear experience in terms of time and space, real and imaginary, showing you results of important choices either way. It doesn't focus on just 2 alternate lives either, things constantly branch out. You would think the film would be a mess, but it's surprisingly cohesive, gripping and even quite touching. I'm sure some will find it confusing, but that's part of the point: Mr. Nobody's memories seem confused and appearances might be deceiving.

I found it extremely romantic despite the fact there are 3 very different love interests. One might say that sometimes the dialogue in romantic parts was corny, but I think that the most beautiful declarations of love can be the simplest as long as they are sincere. They felt that way here. The acting was top-notch all over the board with no weak performance in sight. Mr. Nobody's makeup and voice as an old man were perhaps a little distracting but nothing major. It's not a special effects extravaganza, but what was seen was quite imaginative and beautiful to behold. I think the contrast with the more mundane stuff going on makes them even more impressive. Visually, it has an incredible number of different angles and viewpoints all extremely well shot. What's amazing is that the (often) brilliant transitions flow so well from one to another without being jarring.

There are so many story threads (most fascinating), so many changes of tones (whimsical to tragic) and so much range (from intimate to grandiose). I think people who like to analyze films would have a field day with this one although it's possible they would nitpick on the borrowed elements. There's also lots of food for thought and should provoke very interesting discussions afterwards especially on what might have happened if choices in your life had been different. Contrary to most films where I tend to think of what I will write in my review as the film is going on, it did not really happen here. I was totally absorbed and that's rare. The choice of songs and musics, mostly known, was excellent and added a lot especially in romantic parts. I'm even considering buying the soundtrack. Mr. Nobody is a challenging but very rewarding film to watch . I don't think it's for everyone, mostly because of its non-linear structure, but those who appreciate unconventional films like Brazil, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Vanilla Sky or Big Fish should be quite pleased. I loved Mr. Nobody and it has become one of my new favorite films. To be quite honest, I wish I could see it again right now... Very highly recommended particularly with someone special.

Rating : 9.5 out of 10 (not full 10 because ending could have been better)
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10/10
A Wonderful Film - From Start to Finish
alexreynier27 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the most beautiful cinematographic masterpieces that I have seen in recent years. The photography, music, cinematography, cast, special effects and script creates a highly visually and intellectually stimulating movie.

The film is very complex, between how the movie is fragmented and its time-line, you are left in a state of confusion. A confusion which expands over the length of the movie and much is left to your own interpretations of certain events.

You try to hang on to a fragment telling yourself that this is the right fragment, this is the right time lapse but before you know it, you are introduced to another sequence of fragments which at the time may not necessarily make a lot of a sense and may create more confusion. In time, you start to understand that each fragment becomes a life of its own, each fragment appears to be real, and so each fragment is potentially the correct fragment, there is no right or wrong answer, because there is no reality. Each fragment represents a choice, each choice represents a series of circumstances and each circumstance represent the possibilities which this person is subject to, in his life.

You are introduced to many ideas, and many possibilities, which in themselves are a small selection out of all the possibilities that life may give. The possibilities are the ones given by a 9 year old child, full of ideas, full of freedom, completely and entirely boundless. This creates an enticingly magical combination of possibilities. Boundless and so free in every concept.

This is a journey in our character's imaginative mind, seeing his future being dependant on this one immediate decision, leading to future decisions and potential circumstances that may arise in his future based on his first decision. But the movie also states: If you don't choose, then you don't limit yourself to that one decision therefore the possibilities are endless. The movie encompasses our lives, the life of anyone, and how that life is lead. The circumstances in which you live and how you deal with certain events is represented via our character's perception of the future and circumstances.

This is a very highly intellectual movie which is not only stunning, but also very interesting. Some points about the life and philosophical questions are raised, these points may be easily applied to your own life and so in turn give more of your meaning to the movie.

This movie will not appeal to everyone - because the concept is very complex and the content is very intellectual. Some people will not even understand a little bit of it because it requires the viewer to apply his or her mind to understanding how it all interlinks. This movie would appeal to the more intellectually able people, who enjoy complex films and using their minds to apply meaning to the film. It is not just an enjoyment movie like any blockbuster - it is a content-full movie which required careful analysis of events to comprehend its entire meaning. You do need to be in the right frame of mind in order to enjoy the movie.

You want a distraction? Go see a blockbuster... You want intellectual and visual stimulation? Go see Mr. Nobody!!

I have to say that it really is a pity that this film has not yet been set a release date in most countries in the world (including the UK) because this movie is truly incredible. I had to travel to Paris, France in order to catch a screening. Please see it in English (Original Language) - translation of films never conveys the meaning of films correctly, so imagine what it would do to this very intellectually demanding film?
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10/10
An experience of a lifetime
pumpkin-426 January 2010
Jaco Van Dormael's third & long awaited movie is a sensation. It is a real shame that this masterpiece didn't won lots of awards at different film festivals. How could they be so blind ? Mr. Nobody is a unique cocktail of drama, love story & science fiction. It's an odyssey about making choices and the effect it has upon our lives. The songs ( Buddy Holly ! Pixies ! Satie ! ) are well chosen and the acting ( Jared Leto ! Rhys Ifans ! ) is outstanding. Some might say that this is a difficult movie and a bit "arty farty"... I agree that you won't understand everything, that's for sure, but what the heck, just sit back and enjoy the ride ! This breathtaking tale of imagination leaves you astonished in your seat. Not to be missed !
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9/10
Unforgettable
staffan-663-3210709 September 2010
This is the kind of film you don't see too often. It is truly a visual masterpiece. I haven't heard about this french director, but "Mr Nobody" really blew my mind in all its images, dreams, romance and complexity. The movie has similarities to films by Michel Gondry but i think this film was more magical. Dreamlike and existential films. Some might think Mr Nobody is too complex, too demanding. It is not for everyone, but I loved it. Like other surreal movies, Peter Jacksons "The Lovely Bones", and "Synechdohe: New York" "Dr. Parnassus", "Micmacs"- these dreamlike and "difficult" films must be terribly expensive to produce and I ask myself how can the companies go through with these productions? These flicks never generate big box office money. Im amazed that they still make this kinds of demanding visual movies for cinema. And glad.

I discovered the greatness of Jared Leto as an actor when he played John Lennons Killer in Chapter 23. That was a truly disturbing and amazing acting of a disturbed fanatic loner. Mr Nobody is however the role of his life! If you like this kinds of movies I recommend "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind", "Synechdohe: New York" and "THE FOUNTAIN". They really make you think!
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8/10
The quest for mutuality in love
cetaylor320 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
As Nemo looks back (from age 118, yearningly, and forward from age 9, predictively, drawing on a 9-year-old's storybook-even-horror-story-based clichéd imaginings of adolescent/adult life and sci-fi future worlds), he sees his life's choices and their envisioned consequences pivotally stemming from one crucial choice at age 9, each path "typed up" as a draft of an alternate life. It's an existential tale of the power of choice to create the environments that reshape the persons who then choose from what life presents in their consequent environments, ad infinitum. It's a romantic tale in both the historic sense of quixotic, picaresque adventure multiply envisioned (including into distant time and space) and the modern sense of a quest for the idealized romance of heart and soul.

The alternate lives Nemo envisions ultimately hinge on a quest for one thing: mutuality of love in marriage. No cliché in that; rather a truth of human want and need borne out of the anguishing pain of a 9-year-old caught in rupturous divorce. Desperate to make the choice no 9-year-old should be asked to make, in such a way that it will be "the right choice" for his future, especially to find rapturous, enduring love, not re-creating his parents' fate, he engages a daunting will to prediction and a time-travel suspension and projection that allow him to see three futures before making the fateful choice.

So, to me, Nemo's three "lives" – represented by three girls and the wives they become in his predictive imaginings and rememberings – depict three points on the continuum of mutuality in love:

• loving more than being loved (with Elise, who marries him on the 'rebound', keeping the torch alive for the old flame)

• being loved more than loving (with Jean, who he marries as fated by a dance, thus a kind of 'arranged marriage')

These two reflect shoe-on-the-other-foot variations on the torturous "I love you but I'm not in love" dynamic where Nemo thinks a marriage can work, but discovers it cannot.

• and mutually impassioned loving (with Anna)

Across scenarios, we see his one mutual love, Anna, as someone he'd meet in various contexts (as if destined, as if his scriptwriting mind is trying to relieve him of the paralyzing thought that any one choice could preclude finding his true love yet also revealing that some timings for crossing paths with Anna could be inopportune, that perhaps only one timing might lead to the sustainable love life he craves):

first as children at the beach (who we wind back to in the final shot, sitting in innocent harmony on the dock), an age seen in first draft as too awkward for Nemo's self-consciousness that makes him hide his truth and blurt relationship-killing statements;

second as adolescents, brought together by parental merger, a merger that eventually reinforces his 9-year-old-self's pain about the fragility of imperfect love while exiling his and Anna's mutual pledges of soul-mate-like-passion;

third as adults, passing in a crowd - train depot, city street, funeral - where timings are off, where too much accumulated adult pain, caution, and distrust interfere, making all but the final draft of such adult encounters – the miracle in the chalk circle – come to a dead end;

and last as aged fellow travelers to Mars (i.e., destined to meet even if Nemo initially married Elise, upon honoring Elise's wish for her ashes).

Old Nemo claiming that these depicted lives are equally "meaningful" doesn't mean equally nurturing or vital; his emotion betrays where his truth lies - with a mutual love that's "to die for" (among all the traumatic deaths - by water, fire, or firearm – that he envisions) - and at age 118 worth living for – long enough to see Time reverse and be able to wind his way back - back to the chalk circle when "chance" or fate or miracle rescues an all-but-lost hope of reconnection, or back further to childhood on the dock as playmate–sweethearts who might never have lost each other, perhaps the maximal dream of the 9–year–old's quest for a love that endures all change.

When old Nemo lives long enough to reach time's reversal, he laughs a victory laugh for having found the scenario that miraculously returns his one mutual love to him in the nick of time, now presumably together (in some time and space) "for as long as both shall live."

Some suggest the "moral of the story" carries a (negative) verdict about wealth or career. But I think it was not wealth-boredom that made the Nemo who married Jean seek an alternate identity that got him assassinated; rather it was the restless boredom of never truly loving, reflected in Jean's questioning whether he even liked or knew her (even whether she took sugar in her coffee), missing the passion of two lovers who mutually attune to their beloved's every desire.

Nor is marrying 'trouble' (Elise grappling with mental instability) what undoes love – Nemo stays committed to the most trial-by-fire of marriages - as long as the love is mutual, but Elise's romantic fantasy is elsewhere.

It's asymmetric, unrequited love that smothers marriage with Jean or Elise, not the fact of an easy life or a hard one.

This message points back to the tale's beginnings, for the very 'die' the 9-year-old Nemo must cast and that traumatizes him is the result of a broken marriage, a love that was not mutually "for better or worse." Whichever of the 9-year-old's Hobson's choices he makes, what he scripts enough drafts to realize is what matters most to sustainable ("eternal") love and how to make his heart recognize, treasure, and hold it when he finds it. His last gasping word, "Anna," evokes Citizen Kane's dying, cryptic "Rosebud," but the latter portrays a self- pitying sense of boyhood loss, whereas Nemo's "Anna" portrays a transparent self-realizing sense of a boyhood dream found.
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10/10
Beautiful film. A gem!
isabellealenus18 January 2010
I saw Mr Nobody last night in a jam-packed theatre. I guess that the main reason for this is that I am in Belgium and the writer/director is Belgian. The response of the audience was amazing. I was in Flanders and so the film wasn't dubbed.

The film is magical and surreal. And yet it makes sense. Not many have achieved this, but Jaco Van Dormael seems to have done it with ease. It did take him 13 years however. If you liked Toto Le Héro, you should love this film too. Switching between the UK and Canada works brilliantly and Jared Leto, Toby Regbo and Juno Temple steal the show. Ifans and Little are also fantastic. Diane Kruger's strong German accent is unfortunate as the film needs no unintentional surrealism added to it. I think her role needed a stronger actress (she looks very beautiful though).

In all I recommend everyone to go and see it. The only reason the film gets an 8 (and not a higher score) is because towards the end it seemed to go on a bit. I will go and see it again however. The story really draws you in and I need to go back to search for some answers. I also want to see it again because it is so beautifully filmed. Van Dormael is an artist.

I enjoyed this film as much, if not more, than a David Lynch. And that truly is a compliment.
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5/10
Great promises gone wrong
prohibited-name-22568 February 2011
Since this movie got so many positive reviews, I decided to write about it to give potential viewers both sides of the story.

Mr. Nobody is one of those movies with main plot transcending reality. If you've seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or Butterfly Effect, you'll find yourself on similar territory with this one. Without spoiling too much, main character (Jared Leto) tries to regain his lost memory through hypnosis, which uncovers a lot. The only problem is: he re-experiences more than one linear life.

Sounds promising? Unfortunately, people responsible for this movie fail to squeeze any serious quality out of this potential. Jared Leto plays very well all the time, and the movie is shot with interesting style. First problem lies in the script. It just doesn't make much sense. For example: we are introduced to Superstring Theory, which doesn't have any relation to the movie, which is explained like a methhead would explain it after being sober for 36 hours. Throughout the entire movie, we are shown various little science facts and theories, all making no sense in the contexts, and making impression like a late night 2 hours google search put into movie to add to the overall "credibility".

There's a great love story in the movie, which resembles Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and really improves the experience, but unfortunately it's just one of many plots. Half of the movie it grows on the viewer, and promises a very unique experience. The other half it fails, fails and fails to deliver again, until a very unsatisfactory finish.

If it would have been more organized in structure, instead of random lazy scene by scene mash up ultimately leading nowhere, it could have been so much more. Still, many people find it entertaining, so it might be worth checking for yourself ;)
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5/10
An exercise in pointlessness
jbg66716 October 2011
Take several helpings of philosophical and physics theories and blend these together with some artsy cinematography and sci-fi backdrops to make it appear philosophical and "highly intellectual" as some reviews have described it. But if any of these were the goal of the makers of this movie, they failed miserably.

The director and the writer use confusion, chaos and distraction to make this movie appear highly cerebral. However it is a set of dissonant scenes forcefully held together without an underlying unifying idea pretending to be philosophical but offering no ideas, answers or even questions. It is as if someone had the philosophy alphabet cereal for breakfast in the morning and then vomited on a movie script at Noon. The ideas are all over the place, half digested and full of bile. Some people may confuse this for intellectualism but it is nothing more than half-baked flashes of thought. It is the cacophony of ideas that makes the movie appear philosophical, but only in a way similar to how a carnival magician shows a coin and then makes it disappear, leaving you thinking about how he pulled it off and not about the coin itself.

The unnecessarily stretched plot runs into over two hours without really needing to. One could easily cut out many of the scenes without losing much of the meaning of this movie, because there is not much meaning to lose. In fact, one could completely skip the movie and not miss much.
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9/10
A Mix of Great Things
WhatWhat19127 November 2009
As I'm writing this, my brain is still analyzing and thinking of "Mr Nobody" which I just saw at the Stockholm film festival. Everything from the beginning to the end, moved me. This could be one of the greatest masterpieces this year and I'm hoping to see this score multiple awards of different kinds.

Jaco Van Dormal was not a that was stored in my memory, and I had a hard time remember just who he is. After this movie I'll never forget. "Mr Nobody" was a movie with many questions and theories. Confusing but still dazzling. The shooting was really great, I love the type of filming when you cross from scene to scene with a continuent flow of events. When "Nemo", the lead character switched from dimensions it was often expressed by him waking up from a dream. This was very interesting but I don't really know what to make out of it. Life is nothing but an illusion, perhaps?
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2/10
Mind Numbingly Awful
quantium4021 July 2010
Recently I had the opportunity of viewing the extended version of Mr. Nobody, and reading some of the reviews of this well hidden science fiction epic, it really seemed like my cup of tea. After watching it in all of its two hour and thirty minute glory, I now feel an inane displeasure, akin to what I can only assume as having my frontal lobe stabbed with an ice pick.

Before I review the things I disliked about this movie, let me tell you about the things it got right. First of all, the set design and cinematography were excellent. Visually, the movie was colorful, vivid and imaginative. Also, it has a wide variety of period music which I thought fitting in the scenes they including it in. The scene with the space elevator, ship and mars colonies were also visually a nice touch.

That's about all the pleasure I took away from this movie. For the acting, writing and directing; I found it extremely tedious. The pacing of the movie was terrible. The alternate realities that Nemo experienced, while varied, did not justify the huge expenditure of time devoted them, nor did I feel like they moved the movie along in any significant way. The storytelling was so fragmented that I was unable to feel any connection between Nemo and his many loves and even less for his children which were so insignificant they just felt like filler and could have been left out of the movie completely. And for the ending, what I guess some people would consider a twist, I saw as just plain stupid if you think deeply into what it suggested. In summary, I found it boring and pretentious, and just not worth it. The movie aimed high trying to captivate the viewer in parallel realities, immortality, quantum mechanics and good old fashioned space exploration, but failed at the basics of storytelling and proper editing.
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It's about time, people!
downsigner18 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've read some of the other reviews and I think not too many of them understand the film. Some are astonished at the film's brilliant staging and fx and think there is a deeper meaning in it, but they don't know what it's about. I think I understand it.

The main key is at the end, when Nemo told the reporter about a child incapable of making a decision without knowing the consequences. That's the case of our existence in space and time. That's life, I mean. But then Nemo says that the child is also incapable of making a decision when he knows all the consequences.

The film develops all the consequences of each decision the child could make. Nemo tells the reporter that they are just imaginary characters of a nine year old child's mind.

And before that, he talks about the Big Bang and the kind of time it brings. With the BB we live in an entropic universe, where all things come into disorder like the ink that spills in Nemo's example on the TV scientific program. When Universe stops -in the Big Crunch- time will go backwards and what was disorder will became order. All the multiple choices and possibilities will be reintegrated in a unity.

In the film we see Nemo laughing at the end when he realized that. He won't have to make any more decisions. All the possibilities will came back to the time when the boy runs after the train. All of his life he was haunted by the impossible decisions he had to make. There'll be no more of that, now in the Big Crunch.
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10/10
Shaken & Stirred .... the Explosive Cocktail of Life!
CinemaAddict16 January 2010
Jaco's recipe for the perfect cinematic cocktail:

1. (3 cl) of strong performances (make sure to bring characters to life);

2. (4 cl) of great filming (perfectly capture the performances and scenery);

3. (a couple slices) of timely classic soundtrack (to further enhance the visual experience);

4. (3 teaspoons) of philosophical teasing (favourite flavours: Immortality, Death, Love, Choices, Consequences, Time … does it even matter?);

5. (a few cubes) of story telling (best told by peculiar narrators);

and as a tasty finishing touch,

6. a (zest) of humour (preferably irony).

van Dormael produces this wonderful cocktail with such dexterity that one is left both satisfied and wanting more!

As with any good cocktail, this one should appeal to many and allow for repeated consumption (viewing) due to the wide range of qualities that can be appreciated, be they cinematical or simply philosophical.

I might be missing one or two ingredients, but before I give away any more and spoil your drink, if you haven't seen Mr. Nobody yet, go see it with Anybody and make sure to talk about it with Everybody, or at least with Somebody.

Cheers!
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2/10
Pretentious
jzakany21 May 2013
There are basically two types of art fans. There are those who love art because of the way it makes them feel. It can be a painting of a beautiful landscape, or a series of random colors on a canvas, but they love the feeling they get - the memories or dreams that are envoked - when they look at it. The art can be disturbing, but the emotion it envokes might still be a good one, such as overcoming a personal fear.

The second type of art fan loves art for art's sake. A piece of art that does not evoke emotion is not quality art. It doesn't matter if that emotion is anger, resentment, fear, love, compassion, devotion, etc. As long as the art moves the viewer in some way, it is art. It doesn't matter if the art is ugly and repulsive.

Those that gave the movie a good rating are art lovers of the second type. I am an art lover of the first type.

This script makes no sense. Even for a sci-fi/fantasy movie, it makes no sense. It is not deep. It does not make you think. It's stupid.

Oh, the people who love movies will say, "You just don't 'get' it. It's over your head. You're too dense to understand quality art" Whatever. I don't have to prove anything to them.

If you're a movie fan that likes a good story that engages you, enwraps you, then makes you feel good at the end, this movie is not for you.

If you're more concerned about impressing a professor of filmmaking at SUNY or UCLA than admitting you really did like The Notebook, then this movie is for you.
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2/10
Pretentious nonsense
peterinstockholm31 July 2010
In this very long, very beautifully photographed, labyrinthine semi-science fiction epic a very old person remembers his life in a very muddled way and we are presented with alternative stories of what (really?) happened. One gets the feeling from the very beginning of the movie that it wants to say something important. After more than two hours of tedious storytelling with a lot of repetitions, and alternative solutions of the life-story told, I have no idea what that important message is. I was so bored by this movie that I nearly panicked, and I wanted to leave the cinema, and the only reason I stayed was that my friend I was seeing it with wanted to see it through (though she was pretty bored too but she still had the hope of something meaningful at the end). The director and most people involved in this movie are obviously talented, but the problem is the manuscript, or rather, the idea as a whole. This overlong movie is a waste of time and money.
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2/10
A Derivative Pastiche
Cinnyaste21 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Found "Mr. Nobody" to be a difficult slog. While visually inventive and well structured, the final effect was ennui.

Note: viewed the 133 minute version.

Perhaps because it was an amalgam of: "Sliding Doors," "Butterfly Effect," ". . .Benjamin Button," "Slaughterhouse 5," "Run Lola Run," "FAQ About Time Travel," "Somewhere In Time," "Retroactive," etc.

The interstitial physics lectures used to advance and explain the plot felt forced and pretentious. While it can be said of most films, this was the Director/Writer's singular vision, and it comes off as pet and obscure.

The female leads, with the exception of Sarah Polley, are wasted. I've never seen the vivacious Diane Kruger so bland and underutilized. However, Jared Leto's work is outstanding.

Curious about the release, I found "Mr. Nobody" received limited European screenings, and is not listed on Box Office Mojo. It seems to indicate there may not be a North American theatrical release. Perhaps DVD at some point. While I'm rarely on their side, notoriously unintelligent Distributors may be correct in not picking up "Mr. Nobody." Sadly, this heartfelt, greatly flawed film will be little seen and wear the badge of cult classic.

It may be worth your time, and might resonate. It left me cold.
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1/10
Oh god, oh god when does it END......
hoytyhoyty16 July 2014
7.9 ? Are you serious?

Right, giving it 1/10 to try and drag it back down into sanity.

Real vote probably ... maybe 3/10, for:

* It's really pretty

* It's quite funny in a few places

* Rhys Ifans

Now for the rest -

This film is TWO HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES - two hours and THIRTY MINUTES for the extended version that we were stupid enough to watch - of pretty, occasionally funny, very repetitive, completely shallow, vacuous and valueless BALDERDASH. With Rhys Ifans in it every now and again.

On about the 9th day of continuous watching, during the 415'th love-scene (or was it the 514'th... I forget) where the hero must prove his eternal love for this woman yet again or some such desperate crap, my partner and I realised we had been well and truly had.

This epic Ship Of Fail, this marvel of 'We Forgot To Write It First'ness, has:

* No story

* No moral

* No ending

* No great big reveal

* No thinking beyond the depth of early high-school 'philosophy'

* No ending

* Nothing at all to say, really

* Did we mention it never ends? EVER?

"Mr. Nobody" is a pretentious w*nkfest and 2 1/2 hours of your life better spent elsewhere.

I believe the category for this type of film is: "Vithually Thtunning"
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1/10
It's all random
j_p_j_p9 July 2011
I usually like these kinds of movies. Imaginary ones, where everything isn't always as it seems. I loved 'Eternal sunshine for the spotless mind', for instance.

However, this is pure trash. I actually sat through the whole movie because it seemed like something I would like, and by the end I was hoping it would have a twist or come to a conclusion.

But it's all random. The whole movie is random. The women he's married to, what he is doing, how he grew up, where he grew up. I realise that that's the idea behind the film, but what is the point? There is no character development whatsoever. One of his wives (just those words seem silly) is severely depressed one minute and the next minute she's dead and has been so since the wedding day. Everything is interchangeable and you realise how easy this movie must have been to make. Just put dramatic scenes in there and you win the audience. Obviously, seeing how everyone seems to think this is "brilliant" and "a masterpiece" etc.

I can tell you all, as a warning: it is not. It is one of the worst movies I have ever forced myself to watch. This is not a story, it's just random, interchangeable dramatic scenes.
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1/10
.
artalways19 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Howcome nobody recognizes that this movie is so unoriginal. It tries to convince you by throwing in lots of special effects, tricks and (fake) emotions. In total it's a big struggle to be artistic, romantic, science-fiction and a commercially marketable all in one.

I recognized not only story elements of other movies, even literal shots that were stolen from other (and better) movies. For example: there is this scene brother and sister (not related by blood) are having a private moment where he touches the skin of her arm and you see the hairs of her arm stand up. This idea and even the angle of the shot directly relates to one of the key shots in "The Fountain" (Darren Aronofsky) but this is just one of many. To name some titles; the movie reminds me too much of "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind", "Waking Life", "Sliding Doors", "Jeu d'infant", "Being John Melkovich" ...

Why does the main character only have three choices in his love life: the three girls he sees on a bench when he is a child. In three different dimensions he marries them, while he is only happy with his 'true love' while in these other realities he feels miserable with his fashion-model women. Why if you are unhappy, drag on with it? And he has all these children,and never cares about them. And what about friends?

This film pretends to be open minded, while nothing in the story really is. (especially the religious notes that subconsciously are interlaced in the story) This film pretends to be original, while it is filled with clichés only.
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2/10
Not really an original, is it?
acticom27 February 2012
This movie borrows heavily from a myriad of other films... a boy can predict cataclysmic events... life progression changes depending whether a hero makes a train or not (remember "Sliding Doors"?)... "Life is a box of chocolates" type of philosophy... risqué teenage sex under parents' noses ("The Dreamers" Bertolucci)... CGI effects depicting future architecture and transportation... travel on Mars ("save 16,000 units!" - isn't this taken directly from my favorite "Total Recall"?)... etc. It is fine to borrow and bring it all together creating something new out of it. But this is where this movie fails.

Apart from a couple of interesting one-liners this long movie does not give us anything but annoyance. Especially irritating are the long and repetitive love story and people walking backwards to depict the reversal of time (apparently, the director thinks his audience are idiots).

This movie is one of those with a pretense of being artsy and significant, and many people take the bait, as they always do.

I hope this review will enable *YOU* not to.
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1/10
Waste of time
lilam70-115 January 2011
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I kept waiting for the story to begin but it never did. Watching it was a complete, utter waste of time and left me depressed afterwards. Not even the beautiful Jared Leto could keep me interested. There was no explanations why the characters did what they did or what all the symbolic things meant. It felt like watching some kind of non ending dream sequins that had no tie to reality at all. Don't watch this, even if you are a fan of Sci-Fi/Futuristic films. This is just so far beyond "arty" its not even funny. The creators of this film must have thought "Let's make a movie for people to watch while on drugs!" Unfortunately I did not have any on hand.
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2/10
Plot less, pointless mess
not_even_one29 August 2011
The only thing that's even remotely interesting in this film is the premise, and the synopsis you might read on the back cover. Everything else it throws at you fails miserably. There is no coherent plot to speak of throughout the whole 2something hours of artsy advertising editing and camera focus tricks. After the first half hour, you might be fooled that there is some deeper meaning to the whole thing but you'll get some pop science theories thrown in just for the sake of it. The dialog is completely useless. There is not a single even semi-important bit of information that is carried by dialog here. You'd think the director would then rely on strong images but no. All the storytelling is left to annoying editing and even more annoying musical selection. Sorry, but you're not Basil Poledouris and your cues and tunes cannot carry a poorly thought out film. The underlying idea that this mess is trying to convey is the ramification of choice -- which is really just an excuse to cram in a multitude of superficial main and supporting characters instead of fewer meaningful ones. Contrary to what some might believe, not having a plot and/or solid characterization does not make a film more alternative or intelligent. It just makes it barely watchable. The only thing worth seeing here is the actresses, who are all excellent. Overall, it just feels like the director wanted to say: "Oh, look what I can do with Final Cut!"
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