I was faced with a choice, at a difficult age. Would I write a book, or should I take to the stage

Wednesday, December 10

Filmica's Top 10 films of 2003: Number 8

Rather good, this. American Splendor is a film that is based on the autobiographical, titular comic books of Harvey Pekar, which not only chronicle years and years of the sagging, often moderately self-destructive everyday life of the porcine Pekar himself, but which also tell poignant stories about the people who have featured in Pekar's life. The end result is a compelling and capable mix of documentary and fiction, full of black human comedy, and is, I think, unlike any film I've ever seen.
I'm certainly not any format of comic book aficionado but I found much to admire in this slight film. I particularly enjoyed it as a gentle record of a cranky man's indignation with the world, which gets converted into something slightly softer, as he gradually tends towards happiness though obsessively recording his frustrations with life and such (and through impulsively getting married to, and building a life with a woman called Joyce, who is an ardent fan of the American Splendor comics). Hope Davis, making her second appearance in the Filmica Top 10 films of 2003 (see also About Schmidt) is worthy of note as the unusual Joyce, however all the performances hit the mark.
Good job, American Splendor.


Post a Comment

<< Home