Director: Jared Hess
Starring: Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruel, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Haylie Duff
Written by the husband and wife team of Jared and Jerusha Hess, and directed by Jared, this film has more reasons that I should dislike it than lots of acclaimed films that I consider a waste of my time and somebody else’s money. It’s silly, has a story on par with a bad sitcom and has a whimsical setting that never does completely decide on a time period with valium-powered performances are understated to the extreme, giving this project an extraordinarily slow pace for a comedy, but the fresh, deadpan humor is magnified by these creative choices, and it is all lovingly presented with the low budget TLC that only an independent film can muster. The result is uneven cinema that grabbed a stack of award nominations and is considered to the funniest film of 2004 by many, including myself and was picked as an overrated head scratcher by many others.
Jon Heder, who has since climbed to exalted Hollywood heights with such esteemed projects as Blades of Glory and Robot Chicken, shuffles onto the scene in this film about a pathetic High School loser, dealing with bullies and an equally pathetic family, as well as the unusual name of Napoleon Dynamite. Since I’ve had to go through life with the name, The Manhattan Move Maniac, I know. It ain’t easy. Anyway, Napoleon is just dealing with it one day at a time as he hopes against all odds that life might get better and a new friend named Ramone (Efren Ramirez) and a socially disabled girl named Deb (Tina Majorino) seem to offer up some hope. Could it be?
Napoleon Dynamite has an original and silly collection of offbeat characters pulled together with some very unusual filmmaking, making a bit like the Royal Tenenbaums with teen appeal. For me, Napoleon Dynamite is a shining example of why I should occasionally see a film that I know that I will hate (besides being pulled into one, while whining and stamping my feet, by some woman with strange power over me). For you, it may be a shining example of why you should find better uses for your time than amusing yourself with my movie opinions
Director: Jared Hess