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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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In the future, advances in biological science have led to constant cellular regeneration - humans live forever. But residing in hospital is Nemo Nobody, a man of unknown identity who happens to be the last mortal, the last old man on Earth - the final person who could have a natural death. Or so it seems....

This non-linear film explores Nemo's life as it would have been had he made different choices and you're never quite sure which are the ones he did actually make - if any. For instance, if he'd chosen to live with his mother when his parents split up then at 15 he'd be enjoying his first love, alternatively he could be living with his dad having to undress and bathe his disabled father. The different choices in life lead to massive tangents with wildly varying circumstances - but some themes remain common throughout and echoes of his 'other lives' can be heard no matter which path he has taken. This is a dreamlike fantasy with some Sci-Fi elements which is difficult to comprehend to start with, but from the jumble, specific plot narratives start to emerge as lose threads begin to string together into individual stories. The different narratives develop their own involved and very personal tales which don't just depict the events of Nemo's alternate lives but explore the emotional aspects, from dealing with a family being torn apart by depression to losing the love of your life because of a raindrop - Mr Nobody is often an emotive and powerful film.

There are some fantastic performances here particularly from the younger talent whose angst is completely convincing, their portrayal along with the more 'serious' scenes help the characters feel authentic in each timeline and make this surreal film feel very grounded in reality. Mr Nobody contains one of the best realisations of a future society that I've seen in a film. It's a glossy white future but the city has a familiar form, the depiction of the media looks like a natural progression of our current TV with interactivity and low-brow programming dominating the schedules. Mr Nobody benefits from some of the most creative directorial flair I've seen for a while, though it has a primarily American cast it feels like a European film and Jaco Van Dormael clearly hasn't pandered to mainstream audiences by toning down his whimsical approach to telling stories.

You'd expect a film which is fairly obscure compared to mainstream titles, to have a Blu-Ray transfer which simply "does the job" - but no, the picture here is rich with texture and the colours are lively. Skin and hair looks incredibly detailed and some scenes really stand out as looking superb - a moment when water droplets are on a car windscreen reminds you what high definition can offer over standard DVD. Due to the fairytale-esque nature of the film there are varying colour themes and some inventive directing which never look anything less than excellent. Where CGI is used (to create a futuristic city, for instance) it fits in with the look of the film and doesn't look out of place. There's a 'making of' documentary on the disk which shows some of the efforts which went into such an ambitious film, running at just over three quarters of an hour it covers most aspects.

In a nutshell: A challenging film which many will find inaccessible. For those who do feel immersed in Nemo Nobody's tale of a bygone time when people got sick, drove cars, and even had sex - it's an experience you're unlikely to forget. The film is perhaps guilty of relying too much on ambiguity, especially towards the end - but the stories within stories are often beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking. The film is given a Blu-Ray release which shows the film off gloriously, during the times when you're figuring out what you're seeing - it'll look superb.
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Trying to describe Jaco Van Dormael's 2009 film "Mr. Nobody" is like trying to get a handle on a bowl of the mama's primo spaghetti - difficult but ultimately worth the tasty struggle.

OK - here goes. It's February 2092 and a decrepit Nemo Adult (Jared Leto) wakes up in a hospital bed he doesn't recognize. At 117 he's the oldest man in the world - the last mortal to die of old age (before genetic advancements led to humans enjoying quasi-immortality - a future where endless renewal of cells has even removed the need for sex). Like some fascinating exhibit people want to prod - there's a future-world shrink (Alan Corduner) sat opposite him in an all-white boiler suit with a tattooed face like a Maori warrior and a tiny monitoring device flying between them like a electronic hummingbird. The irritatingly soothing shrink is prodding the old man's thoughts but Nemo seems to have conflicting memories about his past - three women he loved - three wives - with children from each - Anna Adult (Diane Kruger), Elise Adult (Sarah Polley) and Jean Adult (Linh Dan Pham). But first he remembers his birth and his parents - his eccentric English father (Rhys Ifans) - a weatherman who slipped on a leaf on Butterfly Lane and fell instantly in love with the woman who came over to help him (Natasha Little).

Now back to old Nemo again - this time awoken on his 2092 deathbed by a young news reporter who seems to have genuine empathy for him and his life story (English actor Daniel Mays). Talking to the reporter brings up dreams of drowning in a car - awaking in a bathtub only to be assassinated by a man with a silencer - being held in artificial hibernation on board a spacecraft that is falling apart - a unicorn walking through a sea of laughing children - those spirits 'not yet born' - then touched by the angels of oblivion who put a mark on your mouth (only they forgot Nemo).

And as a child Nemo seems to have the gift of seeing the future before it happens - girls he will marry - a recurring dream of a train arriving and departing with his mum leaving her father and Nemo on the platform - him running after it and her... Then there are holidays on Mars with speed motorbikes and pop songs filling bizarre flashback sequences where he's faking suicide on the kitchen floor as an angst-ridden teenager. Blooming love comes his way too as he falls in love to Otis Redding. He crashes on a motorbike and seems to die. And on it goes to Nemo as Jared Leto - the young adult - struggling with his oddness and his predictions and the consequences of the choices he makes...

The thing about "Mr. Nobody" is the sheer audacious breath of it - half of the time you're grappling to work out where the dots are connected - and in the end it does all seem to make some sort of crazy sense. The mixing and editing of different time periods (Forties, Seventies, the future), themes on time, love, what life means and how family makes and breaks you - all of it is truly brilliant stuff. A shot of a teenage Nemo (Toby Regbo) lying on a bed in Canada pans back out through his window to the city he's in until it pulls back further to being a picture of that building in that city on a postcard on a table. "Mr. Nobody" is that kind of mind-bending film. But what gives the movie a beating heart is that amidst all this cleverness are moments of genuine charm and loveliness - a Director's mind at work that is thinking hard about what life and love and adolescence really mean. You may not have a clue what's going on at times but what a wonderful journey to make. And the space sequences are impressively big budget too...

Even across different realities and set pieces (indoors and out) - the BLU RAY picture quality is beautiful. It's defaulted to 2.35:1 aspect ratio (lines top and bottom of the screen) but even stretched to full aspect looks sumptuous. The 5.1 DTS Master Audio gives the Audio a real punch too. The lone extra is a "Making Of" - but at least it's indepth - featuring interviews with Rhys Ifans, Natasha Little, Belgian Director Jaco Van Dormael, Thomas Byrne (child Nemo), Juno Temple (Nemo's teenage girlfriend), Renault Alcard (Assistant Cameraman), the Director of Photography - and all of it combined with location footage and discussions about design. It's very good. There are no subtitles though.

More visionary than Brad and Angelina's psychic, more buffed-up than Vladamir Putin's physical trainer and madder than the Tasmanian Devil on a tab of acid - "Mr. Nobody's is utterly extraordinary filmmaking - a visual and storytelling 5-star masterpiece.

Check it out soon - and maybe even watch it again after - so you can work out what the Hell was going on
22 comments| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 September 2011
Completely bizarre, the lead character in his mind or not, I'll leave that for you to try and figure out, leads multiple lives. With every major decision his life changes, and his life branches off in a different direction.

It is not a fast moving adventure, so if you need a lot of explosions and excitement this may not be for you. However,it is a very clever, twisting journey of this mans life, and like life it has moments of excitement and sadness. Despite it not being fast paced it is captivating and I couldn't look away, I needed to know what happened. This is so unique and unforgettable.

If you enjoy watching a movie that makes you think and if you don't mind a bit of crazy then this is for you.
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on 9 July 2011
Mr Nobody is a fantastic and beautiful story. It has a great and complicated (to some extent) story like Inception. The acting is fantastic as any fan of Jared Leto would know any film he's in, he's a stand out actor with an extraordinary talent. This a must seen for any film fan. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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on 18 October 2012
AMAZING! this film was exactly what I hoped and more, the acting was brilliant, story line compelling and camera work amazing.
I bought this film as a big admirer of Jared Leto and yet again he doesn't disappoint with such a jaw dropping performance.
I will be honest if you couldn't grasp the concept of a film like "inception" then you may struggle with this as it's a bit of a thinker but if you pay attention to it you will love it as much as I did.
If you love great films that make you think or if your just a fan of Mr. Leto you will adore this film. MUST BUY!
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on 19 February 2012
I won't go into the plot because I don't want to ruin it and I'm not sure I could explain it anyway, there are a lot of twists and turns and lots of stories to follow. Even at the end I was left wondering what the 'right' interpretation of the ending was, but I wasn't left with that hollow feeling that I sometimes get with films designed to make you think, where you just want someone to explain it to you so you don't have to think about it any more.

It's a long film but doesn't feel slow paced, it kept my attention throughout and I was completely hooked from beginning to end. The attention to detail in each scene is evident and all I can do is thoroughly recommend that you give it a go and watch it, you won't regret it!
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on 16 June 2016
I had no idea who Jared Leto was before I watched this film so his presence in it was not something that ever swayed my decision to watch it, nor did it bias me for or against it. I simply watched it one afternoon having found it randomly on Amazon.

It seems odd now that I could have been so unaware of such a great actor and such a great film, but I get the impression from reading other reviews that I'm far from alone in this and it seems to have passed under the radar for a lot of people.

In short I loved it, and have since watched it several times, and the last half an hour probably twice that. I've read since that the audience gave it a ten minute standing ovation at whichever film festival it was premiered at, and that seems perfectly reasonable to me.

I did love Inception, so comments relating them are probably based on some truth there, however for me, this film had a much more joyful feel and truth to it, which is probably the reason behind me having watched this many times since and inception not so much. So if inception wasn't for you, don't let that lead you to the error of automatically skipping this film.
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on 7 August 2016
I'd never really been a Jared Leto fan. I bought this on a whim. The last mortal is ill, potentially dying. He tells the story of his life and the great loves of his life. We then split into several narratives as he meets these significant others. The reality shifts are visually distinct, so you never really lose which plot thread you're following. It has grand ambitions but as a philosophical piece it lacks clarity in its vision. One of the partnerships is greatly under developed in favour of other story lines which makes it feel a tiny bit under finished. It's poignant, often profound, but ultimately an unfinished essay that needs to be developed further.
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on 28 November 2015
Fantastic film. Highly recommended. One of those films that you just love to watch, because it has everything, and just seems to be life affirming and realistic and well acted, and never dull or dragging. Only for around five minutes of this long 145 minute approx film did i feel a little impatient with the pace.

This film would only dissapoint a very dull and unimaginative, vain person who thinks they know everything about everything, especially life.
Some may think it is a little self indulgent, but thats the whole point about it. We all are, we all indulge in ourselves and our fantasy life or lives that we wish we could have had or fear have missed or could have lived if only we had been braver or made different choices, or grabbed those opportunities that we said no to or just ignored.

If you are alive and enjoy good films then this is a must. It really is a very good film 10/10
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on 14 February 2012
I don't know if I could write a review of this film for fear of not doing it justice; there is so much to contemplate (as is the purpose) and I don't think I could ever articulate my reaction(s), thoughts and feelings well enough. this really is an absolute work of art; it's intelligent, thought provoking, philosophical, spiritual, scientific...everything. everything about mere human existence is portrayed in this film in a way I thought no filmmaker could possibly achieve - it really captures the essence of thought in a simple yet profoundly deep way.
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