Richard Kelly’s DONNIE DARKO (DIRECTOR’S CUT)
A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Still one of the most insightful views of high school I've seen.
I remember introducing my son and daughter to 2001's Donnie Darko when they were both adolescents. They loved it, as I did. When by chance recently I came across a Blu-ray edition of the Directors Cut I wondered if I would still love it. How would it hold up after 15 years?
I'm happy to say that after all these years it holds up very well. In fact, I think I was even more impressed than when I saw it the first time.
The casting is superb, led by Jake Gyllenhaal and his expressive and emotional performance. Jenna Malone is also excellent, as is Drew Barrymore. Actually, everyone is superb, with special kudos to Patrick Swayze for his charming smarminess.
Photography and editing are first class. At one point I remember thinking to myself, "This guy has studied Stanley Kubrick!"
Such a wonderful sets -- classrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, offices. Everything looks real. My daughter wore Catholic school uniforms like those!
Dialogue is unremittingly clever. My favorite line: "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!" How I wish that I could write dialogue like that!
So, Donnie Darko holds up well as top-notch imaginative science fiction. Check it out especially if you haven't seen it and you enjoy a healthy dose of ambiguity. (Weirdly, it’s also one of the most accurate and insightful views of high school absurdity I've ever seen!)
Review copyright (c) 2017 by Dennis D. McDonald. For more reviews like this scroll down. To find out about my consulting go here. For an updated version of this review published by aNewdomain go here.