Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 30, 2013

CALLERI: New movie 'Arthur Newman' rides down an oft-traveled road

Niagara Gazette — It’s said that everyone has a little bit of Walter Mitty in their heart, Mitty being the character who dreamt rich fantasies about himself in the short story written by James Thurber. The fellow even has its own movie, “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty,” from 1947, with Danny Kaye as the good-natured Walter, a sweet and unassuming sort who in his reveries fought in wars, appeared in courtrooms, and practiced surgery. The huge popularity of Thurber’s dreamer even led to a word being coined: Mittyesque.

And Hollywood, true to its unoriginal self, is releasing a remake of the “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” this Christmas, with Ben Stiller directing and starring.

The key to the success of Mitty as a tall tale and a beloved character is his mild-mannered demeanor, his conflicted personality notwithstanding. When dealing with simple souls, motion picture directors and screenwriters need to tread lightly. They need to keep the comedy soft and the melodrama relatable.

A character similar to Mitty exists in the new comedy-drama “Arthur Newman,” which stars Colin Firth as Wallace Avery, an unhappy guy who dreams of a different life. Why the smooth, controlled, and richly talented Firth chose to play a miserable middle-class American failure is anyone’s guess. He not very good at it.

In the film, Wallace will abandon his rocky world in Florida. He’s a disgruntled shipping company manager, with a son who hates him, as well as an ex-wife and a current girlfriend. Wallace fakes his own death, purchases a new identity (Arthur Newman), and heads for Indiana where he wants to be a country club golf pro.

On he road, he meets a dangerously bizarre kleptomaniac named Michaela, who goes by the name of Mike. She’s a throwback to that classic movie character: the zany female kook. She’s played by another Brit, the usually reliable Emily Blunt, who is also not so good here. The two become traveling companions, a step toward assuaging their loneliness.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Night & Day
  • NAD civisca art 2 041714 Falls native Michael Civisca returns to stage April 24 for fundraiser

    Niagara Falls native and American standards crooner Michael Civisca will join some of New York City's top nightclub entertainers for "Life is a Cabaret," a show celebrating the Buffalo Community Music School's 90th anniversary. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 24 in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 041714 JENNINGS: One of two Queensrÿche's in town this weekend The summer concert scene is filling in its final pieces, North Tonawanda's Niagara River Rocks series should be announcing details of their series soon, and Artpark has announced they will reveal the rest of what is already the best lineup in Western New York, on April 28. Tickets for their remaining shows going on sale May 3.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Raising Matt Christian art 3 041714 'Raising Matty Christian' examines struggles of boy without limbs

    A movie profiling the life of a young man born without full limbs or a tongue will be part of a film festival being held by an organization created to highlight the abilities of people with disabilities. 

    The film “Raising Matty Christian,’ will be shown by the Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. as part of the Spring 2014 Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series. The movie will be shown twice on April 25. The showings will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St., Buffalo. A reception will be held at 5 p.m. at the museum at 3826 Main St. in Buffalo

    The purpose of the event is to educate attendees, challenge stereotypes and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NAD Calleri review art 041714 CALLERI: From Britain with a warning, and a lot of style and talent Two new movies visit frightening aspects of the human condition. Both are from Great Britain, which may tell us something about the nature of creativity there.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 Doors Down 3 Doors Down latest Artpark concert announcement

    Another addition to the Wednesday concert series at Artpark was announced Monday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Biz column art 041414 Intimate Goo Goo Dolls show a real treat for fans There is at least one person who will not be reading this review -- Johnny Rzeznik -- who told an intimate crowd at Seneca Niagara's Bear's Den on Saturday that he is "too neurotic" to read reviews.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Jon Anderson art 041014 Jon Anderson progresses into solo artist Progressive rock pioneers Yes have undergone a staggering amount of lineup changes over the years, but none had the impact of the two times that vocalist Jon Anderson parted ways with the group, once replaced by Trevor Horn in 1980 and later in 2008 with a sound-alike while Anderson dealt with health issues.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Jennings column art 041014 JENNINGS: Goo Goo Dolls highlight weekend music scene This weekend the Bear's Den offers the best pair of shows in the region, including a rare intimate, acoustic performance from The Goo Goo Dolls.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Cover art 041014 Shaw Fest players get their acts together Summer theaters have spring training, too, and the Shaw Festival threw out its first pitch last Friday afternoon.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Calleri review art 041014 CALLERI: Jakarta, Paris, Manhattan, and LA visited when movies are spread across the globe How much time for movie-going do you have? Four new films arrive, and some of you might consider a marathon of sorts, although it's certainly obvious that these movies have their own specific appeal.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page