This movie is confusing. I’m not going to pretend I can even come close to fully getting this movie. So here goes as good a review as I can write. This movie, while 100% centered on the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, feels as sprawling as the grand masterpiece his character is creating. Continually adding layers and layers of meta in the movie. It’s pretty amazing. That’s as much as my brain can muster right now.
Hoffman is powerful in this flick, but he always is. He’s so good at playing the sad sack. (By the way, this is why I enjoyed him so much in MI3. The Owen Davian character was no sad sack. In fact, the character seemed kind of like a grown up more evil version of his character in “Scent of a Woman” [DVD].) Everyone else, including Catherine Keener, is so peripheral that it doesn’t even really warrant much discussion. Keener is almost non-existent in the movie. Michelle Williams is okay. Samantha Morton is the only true supporting role. And she’s great.
It takes a lot of brain to watch this movie. Definitely not a bored on a weekend watch, but worthwhile if you’re invested in it.