March 28, 2010

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind - 2002

Director: George Clooney
Writer: Charlie Kaufman
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts

"I'm not killing people. My future's in television." Clooney's directorial debut, Confessions is based on the autobiography of the same title by Chuck Barris (Rockwell), creator of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show, and describes his rise and fall in the television industry, as well as his claims of being an operative for the CIA.

Caveat: aside from Barris's personal claims, there is no corroboration that he ever clandestinely worked for any government agency. Most believe that during his downfall, personal dissatisfaction with his station in life caused him to concoct stories about being something more than he was. As the movie states, "Very few [in asylums] have delusions of being a guy down the block who works for an insurance company."

Putting the facts aside, this is a very entertaining film. Kaufman was in top form by this point, having already written Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and the underappreciated Rockwell had starred in such films as Lawn Dogs and The Green Mile. Clooney's directing prowess on top of the two aforementioned talents completes the trifecta necessary for a quality product, and it's thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. My personal favorite moments: a short scene involving whip-pans and a nigh-artistic use of the F word, as well as cameos by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt (favors to Clooney during promotion for Ocean's Eleven) as losing contestants on The Dating Game.

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