Cassie's Movie Reviews
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Categories this film falls into:

Dark Comedy
Just a Damn Fine Film

being john malkovich (1999)

The ultimate act of puppeteering.

Spike Jonze

Charlie Kaufman

Lance Acord

John Cusack
Catherine Keener
Cameron Diaz
John Malkovich
Orson Bean
Charlie Sheen



I went with a good friend of mine to see this one its opening day in Seattle. It was only showing at one theater. We stood in a line that went all the way around the corner and down the block. It was cold and wet. The theater was an old stage theater converted into a movie theater - thus, the seats are close together and there are lots of them. Everyone was packed in tight. It was an outstanding film experience.

The crowd was excited about seeing the film and it sparked this electricity when it started. The film just kept getting better. I don't know that I have enjoyed a film so much in the theater in such a long time. I laughed out loud and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The concept is incredible and I admire John Malkovich so much for being a part of it. Catherine Keener, John Cusack and Cameron Diaz are all fantastic. I highly recommend this film.


Craig creating his puppetThe entire concept. Charlie Kaufman is a genius and John Malkovich is such a good sport for going along with it. This was one of the first movies in a long time where I actually laughed out loud in the theater.
John Cusack.
Catherine Keener.
John Malkovich.
Cusack as a puppeteer. Yes, I know it's all part of the larger concept of Malkovich being a puppet, blah, blah. But I still thought it was cool to haThe Malkovich Camve him actually be a puppeteer - films never have puppeteers.
The 7 1/2 floor. Period.
The Malkovich cam - what they see when they are in Malkovich. Very cool.
The New Jersey Turnpike. I can't think of a more inspired place for them to drop. I laughed so hard it hurt.
The cameos. These are hilarious - I especially love Sean Penn talking about Malkovich becoming a puppeteer. Priceless.

Maxine and Craig on the 7 1/2 floorFAVORITE MOMENTS

Abelard and Heloise as a puppet show.
Craig's first trip to the 7 1/2 floor. I love the lost look on his face and the woman in the elevator knowingly looking at him - and her subsequent demonstration of how to get to the 7 1/2 floor. Dr. Lester testing Craig on which is the letter
Craig in the waiting room - the whole misunderstanding with Floris about his name and what he's saying.
Craig's interview with Dr. Lester. The letter test - fabulous. The whole discussion of speech impediments and Floris.
Orientation video of the origins of the 7 1/2 floor. This is just bizarre.
Maxine getting into the elevator as Craig declares his love for her - he says he Craig looking into the portaldoesn't even feel this way about his wife and she says "Ah" as the elevator doors close.
The shot of Craig squatting and looking into the portal - from inside the portal. Very cool shot.
Craig's first trip inside Malkovich - the cab driver who thinks he was in a jewel thief movie - our introduction to the New Jersey Turnpike. The Malkovich cam. This Maxine visiting with Craig and Lottieis great stuff.
Maxine's visit to Craig and Lottie's apartment - and the two of them going after her while sitting on the couch.
Craig telling Maxine about the portal. He says he doesn't know how he can live anymore and she shows him the window. She would be perfect as the femme fatale in a neo noir flick.
John Malkovich using the services of JM, Inc. This is probably the most surreal part of the film. What would it be like to travel into yourself through your own portal? I love their vision of it: Everyone is Malkovich - the piano singer, the waiters, the men, the women. Everyone is saying "Malkovich". I love this film.
Elijah's childhood trauma. This really cracked me up. Craig's dance of despair and disillustionment
Craig's dance of despair and disillusionment as performed by John Malkovich. I mean, when it was done with puppets, that's one thing, but to see him actually perform it - it was very, very funny.
Malkovich going into his agent's office to tell him he is now going to be a puppeteer - and the agent taking everything in stride, says ok.
The ending scene. SPOILER


You don't know how lucky you are being a monkey because consciousness is a terrible curse. I think. I feel. I suffer and all I ask in return I is the opportunity to do my work and they won't allow it ... because I raise issues." - Craig
Craig attempting to tell Floris his name Why do you do this to yourself, honey? - Lottie
- I'm a puppeteer. - Craig
I'm sorry. I have no time for piddling suggestions from mumbling job applicants. - Floris
You don't have a speech impediment, Dr. Lester. - Craig
So, honey, have you thought any more of us having a baby? - Lottie
So where do you live and stuff? - Craig
You're not somebody I could get interested in, Craig. You play with dolls. - Maxine
There's a tiny door in my office, Maxine. It's a portal and it takes you inside JohnCraig telling Maxine about the portal Malkovich. You see the world through John Malkovich's eyes and then after about 15 minutes, you're spit out onto a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. - Craig
I had a piece of wood in my hand, Maxine. I don't have it anymore. Where is it? Did it disappear? How could that be? Is it still in Malkovich's head? I don't know. Do you see what a metaphysical can of worms this portal is? - Craig
Don't stand in the way of my actualization as a man. - Lottie
After dinner I'll show you my puppets. - Craig
Well, you have the Maxine action figure to play The result of Malkovich going through his own portalwith. - Lottie
What happens when a man goes through his own portal? - Craig
That portal is mine and it must be sealed forever for the love of God. - Malkovich
Larry, I want to get right to the point: From now on, I'm no longer an actor. I'm a puppeteer. - Malkovich