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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Night Listener
A fantastic film with a twist at the end. Well worth watching and great acting (as usual) from Robin Williams and Toni Collette.
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by F. Jackson

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique and intriguing premise, unfortunately turned into a slow and unmemorable film.
The night listener starts out promisingly but ultimate just leads to a disappointing conclusion.

The film tells the story of a gay writer/broadcaster, Gabrielle Noone, (Williams) who is given an unpublished book by a publicist. It is written by a 14 year old who says he is a big fan of Noones. The book tells of a traumatic upbringing which has lead to him...
Published on 21 May 2007 by Mr. D. Bell


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Night Listener, 13 Mar 2011
By 
F. Jackson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
A fantastic film with a twist at the end. Well worth watching and great acting (as usual) from Robin Williams and Toni Collette.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch it alone, 28 July 2007
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
Have I been in outer space for a while, or was this tight little film just under-reviewed? I'd never heard of it, and picked it out on a whim with no clue what to expect. I'm not exactly president of the Robin Williams' fan club, and knowing that Armistead `Tales of the City' Maupin had written the source novel I kind of expected some heart-warming melting pot story with guys in chaps and moustaches... But nothing could be further from the truth, I'm happy to say. Foregoing his usual hamming, Williams barely seems to be acting at all here. As Gabriel Noone he's a middle-aged writer and radio star, desperately lonely after his long-time boyfriend walks out on him. Along comes child abuse survivor, Pete, to fill the void - a teenager wise beyond his years and author of a shocking exposé, `The Blacking Factory'. A tentative father/son relationship begins to develop. But, needless to say, all is not what it seems.

Don't be expecting The Sixth Sense. Yes, Toni Colette's in this as well (she's fantastic as Pete's 'new mom'). But if you go to the Night Listener waiting to `guess the twist' you'll be sorely disappointed. It's not about that. In fact, quite the opposite - it pretty much wears the `twist' on its sleeve for most of the film, and therein lies the beauty. It's not about `what', or `who' - it's `why' that matters. Whether it's the tight camera angles or the muted colour schemes or some other directorial trick of the trade, there's just something indefinably creepy about this film. It's a mood piece, big on atmosphere, that manages to say plenty about the human condition without a split second of sentimentality.

One quibble, though - it's over too quickly. At roughly 80 minutes, I'm guessing this is a cut version. The book - which I've just started reading - makes quite a feature of Pete and Gabriel's phone conversations, and losing so much of that from the film takes meat off the bones and leaves it feeling just the tiniest bit insubstantial.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique and intriguing premise, unfortunately turned into a slow and unmemorable film., 21 May 2007
By 
Mr. D. Bell "Dan Bell" (Northampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
The night listener starts out promisingly but ultimate just leads to a disappointing conclusion.

The film tells the story of a gay writer/broadcaster, Gabrielle Noone, (Williams) who is given an unpublished book by a publicist. It is written by a 14 year old who says he is a big fan of Noones. The book tells of a traumatic upbringing which has lead to him contracting AIDS and the boy does not appear to have long to live. He is cared for a lady (Collette) who speaks to Williams frequently on the phone but everything may not be as it seems. When Williams' boyfriend suggests that the boy, and the carer voice, sounds the same, Williams embarks on a journey to uncover the truth and see the boy for himself.

The film starts off with an interesting and intriguing opening but quickly runs out of ideas and becomes a very pedestrian paced and ordinary thriller. With such a unique story there are just no memorable scenes in the film. Whilst all the actors involved are very good, they have nowhere near enough to do. Also, the film is strangely short. A lot of films of this type are too long and over indulgent. This on the other hand seems to have had huge chunks removed as its run time is only about 75 mins. This ultimately might be a blessing in disguise though.

Overall this is a hugely disappointing film. What could have been an interesting and genuinely unsettling film ends up being a very average one. It ends up as a film which you will have forgotten you ever watched as soon as the credits are over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
The film is fantastic; it really makes you think. I didnt see the ending coming the first time i watched it. Definitely recommended
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3.0 out of 5 stars Alas, not the best, 21 April 2013
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
I had read and immensely enjoyed the book - an excellent read, so I approached the dvd with some trepidation.
I am assuming that readers will have read the book or seen the film, so will not re-hash the plot here. (See my review of the book)

The film was something of a disappointment. At about 77 minutes running time, it felt like huge chunks had been edited out.

By comparison with the book, Gabriel's father hardly appeared at all and the unwinding of Gabriel's relationship with Jess was skimmed over, as was his growing relationship with young Pete and his adoptive mother Donna, which was at the core of the book and, I think, should have been at the core of the film.

It seemed like, almost the first two thirds of the book, had been shoehorned into the first twenty minutes of the film. The rest of the film only made sense if you knew fully what had gone before. Indeed, a friend who had not read the book, was watching it with me and had to keep asking what was going on and why. For instance, why make a point of the tank with the star on it, when the film had made no previous reference to its significance?

Once Gabriel had set off to visit Pete and Donna, the film picked up pace and interest, only departing significantly from the book at the very end. The book kind of left the reader to make up his own mind about Pete and Donna, whereas the film presented the viewer with a fait accompli, with not just one, but two final twists.

I'm a great admirer of Armistead Maupin and, it's a pity the film version doesn't do justice to the excellent book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good movie that doesn't live up to its potential, 13 May 2007
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
I have to admit I was a little disappointed by this movie. I was expecting a tense, psychological thriller (Robin Williams has more than proved his ability to deliver along these lines before), but for whatever reason The Night Listener never truly captured my imagination. I must disagree with those who designate the film as a horror movie - it's not scary, it's only marginally suspenseful, and its twists and turns don't really have any oomph to them. In my opinion, it's a bit of a reach to even refer to The Night Listener as a psychological thriller.

Robin Williams plays Gabriel Noone, a writer/radio personality who develops a friendship with a mysterious young man in Wisconsin. It starts with a publishing friend giving him an advance copy of a book the young man has written - it's a harrowing tale about a childhood full of sexual abuse. Now, at 14, young Pete Logand is living with the social worker who helped save him and facing a terminal fight against AIDS. Gabriel soon begins talking to the boy and his caregiver on a daily basis. It's a vulnerable time in his life, as Jess (Bobby Cannavale), his male companion of the past eight years, has moved out, espousing the need for some space of his own. As it happens, though, Jess is actually the first person to express doubts about Pete's story. Gabriel rejects the very idea out of hand, but developments ultimately lead him to ask his own questions about Pete and his caregiver Donna (Tini Collette). Intent to get to the bottom of everything, he flies to Wisconsin to see Pete and Donna for himself. What he finds there, though, are more questions than answers.

Frankly, I never really cared whether Pete existed or not. Robin Williams is good in the role of Gabriel, but I never connected with his character emotionally. Without that connection, the suspenseful scenes just weren't that suspenseful. Additionally, there's never really a climactic moment in the entire story. All of our questions are answered by the very end, but those answers are presented in a somewhat clinical fashion. My ultimate judgment is that The Night Listener is a good movie, but I just don't think it's capable of generating a lot of water cooler conversation.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars something of a let down, 5 May 2007
This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
Some films sound great in theory, but are not so great in practise. A case in point would be Right At Your Door, which was a great premise but at best a so so film. Unfortunately, the Night Listener falls into exactly the same category.

Robin Williams, in another one of his "look I can play serious" roles, is Gabriel Noone, a radio host in the midst of a personal crisis as his latest relationship crumbles around him. Trying to deal with this and not doing so very well, Gabriel is introduced via his agent Ashe (Joe Morton) to a book written by a young boy Pete D Logand (Rory Culkin), a boy who has been the victim of serial sex abuse at the hands of his parents, and as a result of this is seriously, perhaps terminally ill, or so we are led to believe. However, all may not be as it seems, as Gabriel begins to suspect when he strikes up a friendship over the phone with the boy, who happens to be a big fan of his radio show, and his adopted mother and carer Donna (an eerie turn from Toni Collette and easily one of the best things in the film). No one has ever met the boy in the flesh, and Gabriel begins to suspect that the boy may not actually exist. As he sets out to find out the truth, his own insecurities are driven to the surface, as his desire to befriend someone who is much worse of than himself mirrors his previous relationship with the now distant Jess (Bobby Carnivalle), and his need to feel wanted drives him to make some very dubious and in some cases downright foolish decisions.

Based on a true incident, the film is an absorbing and interesting piece of cinema at first. As Gabriel pursues his fear to snow bound Wisconsin where he encounters protective locals and the defensive Donna for the first time, his suspicions grow and grow, allowing Gabriel to abandon all good sense and follow his fears to their logical conclusion. Williams is great as the spurned central character who's own insecurities bring about his nightmarish experiences, and Collette as Donna, the by turns spikey and sympathetic protector of Pete, is also terrific, but unfortunately the film just does not hold together in the final third. Director Patrick Stettner builds an intriguing and absorbing central plot, but when the cat is finally let out of the big, it feels like something of a let down rather than a shocking revelation. It's a shame to, because the time and interest that you as the viewer invest in the film initially feels like something of a wasted effort, and you are left with a distinct feeling of disappointment. A wasted opportunity then, and such a shame as a result.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Night Listener (DVD Review), 25 Oct 2010
By 
A. WILLIAMS (Wales, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
I decided a while back to start a Robin Williams Collection. This was one of the films that I had not heard of, I must say that this is one that I won't be watching again. I thought the story was very slow on the uptake, and I found that the story was (in parts) messy, slobbery and lazy. I can see the basic theme running through the story and 'perhaps' with some extra money, time, talent then this could have been a success. Although I struggle to imagine it. Williams' performance through it is very good, it was the story that let it down. Unless, like me, you're trying to get a collection going and you NEED this or you are a DIE-HARD Robin fan then I would say it'll be better for you to keep your money.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't ..., 22 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
Is this for real ... an emphatic NO ! 76 minutes I'll never get back. Was going to give to a charity shop but thought wouldn't want to be a time stealer of others, a useful black bin filler. A lesson in a good idea doth not maketh a good screenplay, the writing, the execution ... was hoping for my own.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slow, 16 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Night Listener [DVD] (DVD)
a very slow and very strange film not what i thought it would be, but it drew me in and i found that i had to keep watching to the end
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