“I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid I haven’t been alive enough”.
Probably the sentence everybody says to itself at least once in its lifetime, but are afraid of admitting it. Mr. Nobody, a movie directed by Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael, gravitates around this statement, but also around the choices which we’re confronted to in our lives.
The always amazing Jared Leto (who you may not believe, but just turned 39) stars as Nemo, a confusing character of which we see many sides during the movie. The rest of the storyline is hard to sum up without giving away any spoilers, and is hard to sum up period, because it ressembles nothing I’ve seen before. The story is original and well-put together and the characters are both complex but highly likeable. But what makes the movie is really the masterful work of direction that has been done by Jaco Van Dormael. Every shot has been thoroughly thought through, the transitions are the most impressive I’ve seen in any movie, hands down, and the way he’s able to bring you from one part of the non-linear storyline to another is so fluid that it becomes easy to follow the complex story.
The cinematography is also highly impressive. Various techniques were used, from super slow-motion images to bizarrely-focused shots that are most probably filmed with a tilt-shift lens. Some of those shots were actually shot in Montreal, which makes it even more interesting for me to spot locations that I know. The make-up job is also amazing. Jared Leto is sometimes portrayed as 118-year old Nemo, and his old self is flawless. The make-up department for this movie definitely deserves an Oscar nomination.
Mr. Nobody’s cast is up too par with any other movie too. Leto is excellent as usual, and the movie features many kid and teen actors, who are surprisingly believable in their roles, which is something that most movies suffer when they try to incorporate very young actors in their films.
The emotions that emanate from this movie are really unmatched. It’ll make you feel good at some times, make you confused at other times. It’ll challenge your mind with its many twists and subliminal messages (particularly water, which is a very present element throughout the movie, and has many meanings), make you ask questions that you’ve never thought of before on various subjects, and finally, will simply make you want to live life to the fullest.
This could easily be the most under-rated movie of the last decade. I had posted the trailer of it back in May 2009, and I had completely forgotten about it. It was one of the best cinematographic surprise ever when I stumbled upon it almost 2 years later. Any fan of modern cinema should watch it and enjoy the unique experience on which Mr. Nobody will take you.