Walter Mitty is a daydreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. Imagine for a second working at Life magazine, where the greatest events in history are recorded in the most vivid detail, and you are the guy that meticulously handles every image as they come in from the field. When Walter can’t find film negative 25 from Sean O’Connell, the one that is to be the quintessence of all his photos and the final one for Life Magazine, he is encouraged to go on an adventure and find it by his love interest, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig). Walter and Sean O’Connell have never met in person, yet they share a close friendship, working together for 16 years. On a side note, the scene with Walter in Greenland and the drunk helicopter pilot is so good! Probably one of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Walter finally catches up with Sean O’Connell.
When Walter asks O’Connell about negative 25 and finds out he had it but may have accidentally thrown it away, O’Connell doesn’t blow up at him like you would expect. I know some of the great quotes in the movie come directly from James Thurber’s original short story. I post regularly the newest news, reviews, castings, photos & even produce my own videos to cover the content! But beneath all of Walter’s wild daydreams and adventures, lies a romantic comedy that is subtle enough not to override the important messages in this film. The second act of the film sees Walter embark on a life-changing adventure where the lines of reality and fantasy begin to blur. Stiller had already proven he can shoot the fantastical, the wonderful and the grand with his previous directorial work on Tropic Thunder and Zoolander, but the artful craftsmanship that has gone into Walter Mitty is of a distinctly higher calibre. To see the world; things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel.
If must you do one thing before the end of 2013 or going into 2014, head to the cinema from Boxing day and see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it’s a modern day classic. Twitter: heddmagazineGregory Porter: Take Me To The Alley [REVIEW] - It's hyped but is it worth your money? When his job, along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world, embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. He works in the basement of Life Magazine’s corporate office, processing film negatives in what appears to be a massive, windowless, and well-organized darkroom.

Like many men, he seems to be struggling with the inner desire to be something or do something significant with his life and fantasizes about himself as a hero or lover. When he comes back to the office he sees Sean’s picture and imagines Sean slowly summoning him to come into the adventurous world.
I like to think that to Walter, O’Connell is something of a father figure rather than just a legend of a man living the life that Walter wished he lived. Olafur Darri Olafsson (yeah I don’t know how to pronounce his name either) plays the pilot and does such an excellent job. He’s parked out on a ridge in the Himalayas waiting for the sight of the elusive snow leopard, known locally as the “Ghost Cat”. When Walter asks what it was I think O’Connell has already decided to keep it as one of those “in the moment” pictures. However, every now and then a film comes out that does precisely that and Ben Stiller’s Secret Life of Walter Mitty is one such film.
Ben Stiller has come a long way since cutting his teeth as a slapstick funny man, making his way into action (comedy) and progressively moving into directing and writing, but this latest piece sits at the top of the pile as some of his finest work yet.
Walter is tasked with finding the final cover image taken by renowned adventurer and photojournalist Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) that has mysteriously gone missing, sparking a mission to track down Sean using three pictorial clues, that take him from Greenland to the Himalayas via Afghanistan on a journey that is funny, frightening and transformational. His love interest, Cheryl Melhoff is played by the magnificently dowdy but charming Kristen Wiig.
Whilst I would still hesitate to put it side-by-side with Forrest Gump, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty packs a powerful, joyful and inspirational punch that celebrates qualities that we should all remember to treasure; a sense of adventure, humility, honesty and dedication to good work. The pathos of the main character is well-captured in subtle ways, as are the feelings of triumph when he is able to go beyond his own self-imposed limitations. If we didn’t have the ability to experience his fantasy filled “zoning out” spells along with him, he would seem to be a pretty dull guy. However, he doesn’t just have those thoughts while mowing the grass or on a quiet weekend when he is alone, he has them all the time, mentally and physically checking out in the middle of conversation. However, for himself, he left behind the dreams of that skateboarding kid, and worse, felt a wound from his father’s death that he didn’t know how to deal with.
I believe we can begin to see how Walter’s imagination could get away from him, but more importantly, I think it is something many men can relate to, though to a lesser degree. Walter Mitty is a guy that lost himself when he lost his dad and his adventures are a way for him to find himself and deal with the death of his father.

As we join Walter on his journey we see a man gradually break free of his sedentary lifestyle, revealing hidden passions in skate-boarding, hiking and thrill-seeking. The cinematography is extraordinary– this is a drama that *must* be seen in theaters. There is a part of him that is still trying to live out the life that his dad would have wanted. His transformation is something many of us can relate to, which is partly why I believe this film will have such a strong impact on it’s audience. I expect that most adults with any sensitivity at all will find this a highly satisfying experience that speaks to their very cores.
While helping his mom move into a new place his sister finds an unused backpack of his with an equally unused travel journal. Instead of living that life like Sean O’Connell (the adventurous photographer played by Sean Penn), he lives it in his imagination. Then another thing happens, which is just such good writing: O’Connell doesn’t take the picture.
My wife and I were privileged to see it in an advanced screening, and can’t believe we have to wait another couple of weeks for the official release to go back and see it again. Not only is the movie fun to watch, the story is chocked full of subtle but deep sub-stories that leave you thinking about its meaning, both for yourself and the characters, long after you’ve watched it. He says that when the moment is just right he wants to stay in it without the distraction of the camera. In an age where everything is shared in an instant, those personal moments can become fewer and fewer. We get the impression that his dad was pretty awesome; taking him to skateboarding competitions and giving him a mohawk.

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