07 May 2008

Color Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story (NR)

I’m Stanley Kubrick. No, John Malkovich is Stanley Kubrick, or rather he portrays Alan Conway who pretends to be Stanley Kubrick. Successful as a confidence man, he convinces scores of people that he is indeed the director of such classic films as Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The humor lies in his blatant ignorance in regards to Kubrick’s filmography. Even still, people buy his claim on Kubrick’s identity. Although he mostly uses Kubrick’s fame to find men to bring home, he eventually sets his sights on greater scams.

In one pivotal scene, “Stanley” sits down with a banker and the owner of his favorite wine bar to discuss the lending of funds to open additional bars around Western Europe. The banker says he had reviewed the case, looked into “Stanley’s” sterling credentials and decided to approve the loan…”with Mr. Kubrick’s backing, of course.”

The string of incredulous scenes rife with gullibility lasts just long enough. Right as you begin to wonder if all of London is full of saps, Conway is found out. After entering a bar and bragging about “Hollywood stuff,” one of the guys in the bar strikes up a film conversation and quickly reveals that “Stanley” is not the real deal. Humiliated for getting his “Stanley’s in a twist,” Conway flees the bar. Not one to take set backs lightly, Conway moves on to con the British equivalent of Tom Jones, Lee Pratt, into pursuing a career in Vegas. “Stanley” acts as Lee’s overseas agent, flying between London and Las Vegas…all courtesy of Lee, of course. I’m sure you can figure out where the movie goes from here.

The movie’s a good one in an artistic, witty, humorous kind of way, but it’s definitely adult oriented. For being so over the top, Malkovich’s performance was a delight. Casting him was the perfect choice, as he looks nothing like Kubrick and does a stellar job not getting US accents right. The highlight of the movie was when “Stanley” claims that he’s cast John Malkovich as the lead, even if he “isn’t the strongest actor to play the role.”

According to imdb.com, the actor who plays the conned Lee Pratt, Jim Davidson, actually had dinner once with Alan Conway while he still lived.

No comments: