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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and Twitchy. Deserves to be Seen
Rating Explanation
I watch and own a huge number of films and can sit through most
dross. My ratings are based on my personal response to films,not
any standard of quality. Therefore:
4 stars: It's good and/or enjoyable. I could happily watch it again
Flying in the face of my personal rating system it would probably over-stating it to say that I...
Published on 4 April 2006 by Fiona Mac

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He knows where you live!
Robin Williams, one of the funniest people on the planet, has made a career of playing some very unpleasant people. In this one, he works at a Fotomat (now nearly extinct) and become the stalker of a family that brings their films to him for development. Not only does he stalk them, he knows everything about them, their birthday parties, their fights, their sporting...
Published 14 months ago by Lord Anon


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and Twitchy. Deserves to be Seen, 4 April 2006
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Rating Explanation
I watch and own a huge number of films and can sit through most
dross. My ratings are based on my personal response to films,not
any standard of quality. Therefore:
4 stars: It's good and/or enjoyable. I could happily watch it again
Flying in the face of my personal rating system it would probably over-stating it to say that I could 'happily' watch this again. I almost certainly will, but as with such films as 'Seven' and 'Nil by Mouth' this is probably a once-a-decade film.
However it is so good it rates 4 stars, so don't be put off.
Williams plays the seemingly-happy and very customer-friendly manager of a photo developing kiosk in a large store.
It quickly becomes obvious that he has developed an obsession with one family that use the service quite often, and that he is not as he appears to be.
None of this especially original, the originality comes from what the film-makers do with the situation from that point on.
Firstly, Williams' character is unusually symapthetic. Secondly, that sympathy remains for the duration of the film. As his odd behaviour moves up a level, and he begins to stalk the family, you find your self squriming in your seat at the prospect of him being caught. As the film progresses towards an end that you *know* can only be catastrophic for him and the family, you find you are still as concerned for the effect it will have on the Stalker as the Stalked.
The culmination of all this is perfectly in keeping with the film, which can't have been an easy trick to pull off, and at no time does it disappoint.
Williams, carries this role wonderfully. Rare proof that he is as exceptional an actor as he is funny-man.
You will squirm, twitch and quite possibly cry, but it will have been worth it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incomparably unique, 5 Jun 2006
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is a little different. Different because of its stunning cinematography, acting, intriguing moments and jaw dropping brilliance. Robin Williams plays Sy Parrish, a lonely bachelor who yearns to be loved. He works at a one hour photo booth at SavMart. That's all you need to be aware of, the rest develops fluently and is more satisfying to watch when in a slightly questionable mood. The clinical and insipid area where he works drowns him, his only joy is the photos. This film has such subtle pieces on display, the use of light, how You are looking in on Him looking in on You, it produces an indespensible experience that will wonder and shock anyone paying attention. Along with Rainman, this film is the pinnacle of filmaking. 100%
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly disturbing...., 22 Mar 2007
By 
Mr. T. Faithfull (Hastings, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The genius in this film lies perhaps in what it isn't. It isn't gratuitous, it isn't predictable and it isn't scary. It does, however, really get under your skin. Robin Williams excels as Sy Parrish, a lonely, delusional photolab technician who becomes obsessed with a family for whom he has been developing photographs for many years. Sy has nothing and no one to go home to, and only his contact with the apparently idyllic lives of the Yorkin family protects him from the realisation of his total lonliness.

There's no dimly lit horror scenes here, only bleak, bright white and sterile environments which help to portray the precise, yet barren territory of Sy's mind. Something happened with this film which made it greater than the sum of its parts, and in my mind it's one of the most disturbing films I've seen, purely because of the lasting effect it has. I feel that somewhere, Sy is still living in his fantasy of the perfect family....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 20 Jun 2005
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Robin Williams gives an brilliantly creepy performance that has you genuinley feeling un-easy!. Its a very scary story that really gets you thinking! It surprised me how involved i became with the film as i was literally on the edge of my seat. Those who want to see a great thriller with a good story to get their teath into, i highly recommend it. (although it might make you want to get a digital camera instead of one that takes film! so be warned!!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was here, I existed and someone cared about me enough to take my picture., 30 Sep 2012
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
One Hour Photo is written and directed by Mark Romanek. It stars Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Dylan Smith, Gary Cole and Eriq La Salle. Music is scored by Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek and cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth.

Sy Parrish (Williams) is a loner photo technician at SavMart's one hour photo shop who becomes obsessed with a family whose photographs he develops....

No one takes a photograph of something they want to forget.

2002 was a stellar year for Robin Williams, it saw him give two dramatically potent performances that dampen down the bile spewed up by those who haven't been able to forgive him his comedy excesses. Insomnia has (rightly) found a more appreciative audience since 2002 because of the rise of its director, one Christopher Nolan. One Hour Photo, though, still seems to be striving for recognition for its qualities, in fact, for its understated qualities.

It's evident now that many have gone into the film expecting some psycho stalker movie, and subsequently have been disappointed to find One Hour Photo is nothing of the sort. What unfolds is a sedately paced story of a fractured mind, of a loner who is so detached from society he imagines himself being part of a family, by way of his job, that he thinks is perfect. When the family of his selection turns out to not be a bastion of Americana, the little thread in his head clinging to sanity finally breaks, and then......

Here's the problem. This is no slasher, people need to understand that mental illness or isolation from society does not mean psycho death killer, and thus Romanek's film becomes an observational character study of someone detached from realism. Creepiness permeates the picture, big time, but you shouldn't be putting this in the horror genre. Romanek always holds the upper hand, structured as it is, we the audience find ourselves holding on to see just how far Sy Parrish went with his pursuit of family harmony? With that comes the question of if the finale delivers substance? Well that depends on if you want red blood histrionics or brainy grey area?

There were cuts and studio interference, and in the finale an explanation for Parrish's mental issues reeks of a writer being "handed" a solution by the studio paying his bills. Yet this is mature pot-boiling stuff, a film that dares to simmer and not let the pot spill over for multiplex appeasement. While Williams is nothing short of terrific, an edgy and understated performance that only makes us lament that he didn't do more of these portrayals at his peak. 8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is no comedy..., 1 Feb 2004
By 
J. Neal "jneal" (Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Robin Williams is one of those people who appears to have reinvented himself as a pretty fine actor, and the seriousness of his portrayal of an essentially well-intentioned photo lab operator slipping into obsessive psychosis is really rather brilliant. In One Hour Photo he plays the villain equally as well, if not better than he did in Insomnia, although in fairness, he is the major role in this offering, but nevertheless the character he creates is believably out of whack with normality. This impression is ably assisted by some great direction, the photography always reminiscent of the still image kind and Williams himself invariably being placed amid almost complete sterility with cool colours to match. It might be for some that these kinds of devices are a touch contrived in the sense that they're a little obvious, but on the whole, it amounts to an excellent exposition of the film makers' craft. Chilling, convincing and sure to prompt many viewers to finally make the move to digital...
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most impressive intellectual thrillers in years, 13 Sep 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Robin Williams gives an Oscar-worthy performance as the lonely, somewhat creepy, but wholly sympathetic Sy Parrish in this haunting, compelling directorial debut by Mark Romanek. Some have called this a scary movie, but One Hour Photo works on emotional levels much deeper than fear and disquiet. This is an intellectual thriller that at times borders on a work of art, a carefully constructed exploration of the depths to which loneliness and bland ordinariness can drive a man. Everyone reacts to this movie differently; by design, a sense of moral ambiguity pervades the story and its presentation. Many may see Sy Parrish as a bad guy (though certainly not a stereotypical one); those lucky enough to never know the hopelessness and loneliness this man endures or to experience the devastation of seeing your whole world pulled out from under your feet may look down their noses at him with denigration, not truly understanding his afflictions. Most of us, though, know what utter loneliness feels like to some degree, and I can't help but believe that most viewers will feel a connection to Sy Parrish that differs markedly from what they might anticipate going in. If you ask me, there is a bad guy in this film, but it is not Sy Parrish.
Sy Parrish's job means everything to him; as a photo developer at a large retail store, he develops customers' pictures with great care and professionalism. Outside of his photo development domain, he is bland and invisible, a man truly alone. His life could not be more different from the lives he sees day by day in the pictures he develops - in the pictures of happy families, he sees everything he wants but cannot have. Thus, it almost seems natural that he would begin to fantasize about being a part of such a life, to have a family of his own. His favorite family is the Yorkins, a seemingly perfect young couple with one son. Nina Yorkin (Connie Nielsen) is one of Sy's best customers; she's always bringing in pictures to be developed. Having watched the Yorkin family evolve over a number of years, Sy has adopted them as his own, making his own copies of all their pictures. He knows Nina, her husband Will (Michael Vartan), and son Jake (Dylan Smith) intimately through their photos; he knows where they live, what their house is like, and all sorts of additional personal details about them. In his own mind, he is Uncle Sy to Jake, and he tries to insinuate himself into the Yorkins' lives at just the time his own real life is beginning to fragment. His job is no longer secure, and it is during this troubled time that he discovers that the Yorkins are not the ideal family after all. That discovery is just more than he can take.
This is not the kind of role you associate with Robin Williams, but there can be no doubt that this man is among the most accomplished of actors. All of the natural energy Williams suppresses in his transformation to the externally calm, quiet, rather forgettable Sy Parrish lends his performance a power that few other actors could bring to such a role. Writer and director Mark Romanek gave Williams a completely different look, and the set design and cinematography reinforces that directorial vision to lend the movie a sense of hyperreality that proves as unsettling as Sy's descent into mental disconnection. The acting is superb all the way around, but Williams clearly steals the show with one of the most impressive performances I've seen in a long time.
Topped off by a writer/director/actor commentary, a really well-made behind-the-scenes featurette, an "Anatomy of a Scene" Sundance Channel Featurette, and an extensive interview with Robin Williams and Mark Romanek on The Charlie Rose Show, One Hour Photo easily qualifies as a must-own DVD.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy thriller and a poignant movie in one, 28 Jan 2005
By 
anna (Ole Blighty) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This is a masterpiece. There's no other way to describe it.
Robin Williams plays Si the Photo Guy, a bland, lonely and sad man whose life revolves around his job in a one hour photo booth. Desperate for affection, he's become infatuated, obsessed over the picture-book family of one of his regular customers. He wants to be part of that so much that he fantasises about being their favourite uncle. Then things start to unravel and the future of the family and his continued involvement in their lives is threatened, with chilling consequences.
There's so much repressed emotion in Robin's performance and this makes Si both an empathatic character and one whose slow derailment is truly terrifying.
I very rarely cry at films, but I cried at this film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling.....but fascinating......, 13 Dec 2003
By 
M. D. Hart "Boz Phiz @ DVD" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This movie is not for the faint at heart.....it shows the struggle that some people go through to kill their personal demons, and the immense emothions that some people have of wanted to feel loved and accepted.
The brilliant thing about this movie is that it is not extravagant....it is based on a character that is a simple photograph developer in a supermarket who becomes obsessed with one of his customers and her family......he loves them basically. They have been his customers for years and he sees them as family......he watches the happy couple happily (with an inner grudge against the husband) and sees the young son grow up....
.....when he learns of an affair that the husband is having through another customer's photos, he switches them so that the wife can see them. What follows is his campaign of revenge against the man who has destroyed his wife's life.......and it really is scary people. The things that happen are diabolical, and what makes it more chilling is that we are so used to seeing Robin Williams as the fun, lovable guy that his serious nature here is very noticable.
Believe mem Williams gives the performance of his life, he is absolutely brilliant, and deserves all the credit from critics that they can give. A movie that brings home the horrific truths of life while showing us the endearing nature of the underpriveleged, and how teriibly wrong loving someone can be......
Well directed, direct and to the point, this movie is far from boring, and should be used as an educational experience as well as home entertainment....Williams researched his character well. Buy it Guys....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Sad and Thought-provoking Film, 1 May 2008
This review is from: One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film stars Robin Williams, in one of his rare serious roles, as 'Sai', a photo-technician who works in a large supermarket, and becomes fixated by a young couple and their son, Jake.

Williams' aching torment and yearning to be part of a loving family unit is very affecting, and sometimes very sad, but also sometimes very creepy. The sight of an entire wall of his house covered in photos of the young family is enough to let the viewer know that he isn't mentally stable, as is his frequent appearances at places where a member of the family happen to be. Yet initially, there is no sense of threat; only the dreams of a man who craves love and closeness.

Things take a turn for the worse, however, when Sai is sacked from his job and is consumed by malevolence. At the same time, he discovers that the Father in the family he is obsessed by is having an affair. This sparks an intense fury in Sai, and the results are dramatic, to say the least.

This film is an excellent study in loneliness, and the things it can do to a person. It also shows acutely just how horribly a mind can unravel, and how quickly. Ultimately though, this film is sad, rather than scary. Sad because it shows how a person so damaged by a bad childhood can spend a lifetime wishing for love, wishing to matter, and never find it. The saddest thing about this film is that in many ways, it's actually pretty realistic.
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One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002]
One Hour Photo [DVD] [2002] by Mark Romanek (DVD - 2003)
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