Writer/Dir: Robert D. Siegel - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Jonathan Hamm, Gino Cafarelli, Michael Rapaport
Reason to see: Impressed with clips from Gotham Awards nomination announcement, and it's up for 2 awards: breakthrough actor (Patton Oswalt) and breakthrough director (Robert D. Siegel)
Big Fan introduces us to Paul (played brilliantly by Patton Oswalt), a die hard New York Giants fan. When I say die hard, I mean truly spends every waking moment thinking about the team, the last game, the next game, the season overall, etc. He shares the love of the game with his buddy Sal, played by Kevin Corrigan, but everyone else in his life thinks he's wasting his time and should be trying to make something of himself. But there is a catch here, as Paul has no desire to change which creates an interesting conundrum for the audience. Do we side with the main character, or those who are constantly at him from all angles? Even more interesting, that may be the strongest emotional thread in the film but there is so much more. Paul is constantly at battle with his greatest joy and becomes directly involved in as an obstacle to that joy.
The film is written and directed by Robert D. Siegel, who wrote The Wrestler, and there are few themes that the two films share beyond being sports films. They both have really deep connections to characters that feel simple yet complicated at the same time and really hit the audience hard on an emotional level. It's quite amazing that with Big Fan, a film with such a singular focus can manage to keep you guessing throughout. The acting is what makes this film a huge stand out, Patton Oswalt as Paul is phenomenal especially when interacting with his on screen mother played by Marcia Jean Kurtz. Kevin Corrigan is rock solid as Paul's best, and possibly only, friend.
It's a completely different spin on for a sports drama, and one that is well worth checking out.
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it as fans of dramas, sport films and compelling stories
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© Shannon Ridler, 2009