Ben Stiller's 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' premièred at the New York Film Festival, but how was it received?
Ben Stiller's remake of the 1947 film, 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' premiered this Saturday at the New York Film Festival and 20th Century Fox have once again splashed the cash for extravagant visual effects in the epic drama that blends reality with fantasy, which received a mixed reception from critics.
Ben Stiller directed 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty'
The film's plot was originally from a short story published in the New Yorker by James Thurber in 1939, and Steve Conrad loosely adapted Thurber's story into the 2013 comedy-drama. The adaptation follows a man called 'Walter Mitty' (Ben Stiller), who lives an ordinary life with a regular job, but he is desperately growing tired of the same monotonous routine he carries out everyday.
However, Mitty dreams of much bigger and better things for himself and even though he is constantly looked down upon by his superiors at the office and he's too scared even to speak to his stunning colleague Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), one day it all change as Mr Mitty makes the spontaneous decision to go on a journey of a lifetime.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the fantasy epic received a lengthy standing ovation from its audience and Stiller, who introduced the screening, playfully said "I want to thank the Film Society of Lincoln Center for having the courage to include a Ben Stiller film in the festival", adding that the film was a "valentine" to New York due it being shot all over the city.
So what did the critics think of the adaptation?
Peter Debrudge from Variety thought, "From a technical perspective, this is Stiller's slickest pic yet, demonstrating creative widescreen framing and an inspired blend of dramatic score and recent pop tunes throughout. While the confusing mix of genres and ideas might throw first-wave auds for a loop, the approach is timeless enough to hold up".
David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter added, "It's sweetness emerging without undue strain. The gradual shift by which lonely Walter's fantasies recede as his real life becomes more dynamic is modulated with disarming gentleness".
However, not all had favourable opinions of the film, Rodrigo Perez from The Playlist wrote, "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" employs hackneyed and mawkish methods to achieve a false sense of joyfulness".
Stiller directed the film and last year's 20th Century Fox film 'The Life Of Pi' also utilised expensive visual effects which resulted in an Oscar win, so maybe the dramedy will garner the same Oscar buzz.
'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty', which also stars Sean Penn, is set for release on December 25th 2013.
Kristen Wiig plays Walter's love interest, Cheryl