Director: George Clooney
Writers: Charlie Kaufman (screenplay), Chuck Barris (book)
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney
“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, brilliant or bizzare, suggests that a man who discovers that the most despicable ideas in his mind make incredibly popular TV shows is a man who wrestles with an enemy of the people within his own psyche. Killing an audience, killing a supposed enemy and killing the soul merge into a deadly game of intrigue and entertainment.”
Snuggling up close to a concept made popular in the Oscar award winning film, A Beautiful Mind, this film — Confessions of a Dangerous Mind — creates a Chuck Barris alter-ego (George Clooney) who cannot be pinned down as fact or fiction. And then it goes one further. It shows the wreckage of madness as nothing special — just ordinary, everyday workaday interactions around the office that can’t be sorted out as fact or fiction. Barris (Sam Rockwell) writes, pitches and hosts without detection. His girlfriend, Penny (Drew Barrymore) comes and goes, proposes and disappears, discovers his infidelities and comes to his rescue. And, not unlike Beautiful, it’s the love of a very special woman who provides him with a safe haven. The saintly character of Penny (Drew Barrymore) may be believable only as a creation of a man’s mind. But Penny is all the more remarkable for projecting a vision of a woman who lives her own life fully while Barris, her true love, flip flops on the margin.
Confessions delves deep into the darkness of a tortured mind while standing aside and taking the worst of truth with a grain of salt. Taken as brilliant,Confessions addresses the question of what passes for sanity in an insane world and gives fair warning that there is no such thing as ‘playing make believe’ when it comes to dancing on the edge. Taken as bizarre, Confessions suggests that madness and sanity dance together without a definitive line and anyone can get away with almost anything.