Best Movies by Farr
Being John Malkovich Poster
Released Runtime Category
1999 113 Comedy
Director Language
Spike Jonze English
John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

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What's it About
When down-and-out puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) gets a job as a file clerk on floor 7 1/2 of a large office building, he makes a startling discovery — behind an old cabinet, he finds a portal leading directly into the brain of actor John Malkovich (John Malkovich!). Soon, he's enlisted aloof co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) and his dowdy, PETA-crazed wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) in a scheme to charge admission for the novelty of "becoming" the famous thespian for 15 minutes.
Why we love it
This strangely inventive surrealistic comedy was the inaugural collaboration between former music-video-director Jonze and talented screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. With such a bizarre concept, this film could have sent audiences home scratching their own noggins, but Cusack, Keener, and a (nearly unrecognizable) Diaz have a bright, wonderful chemistry that shines through all the head-trippiness. And who can deny that Malkovich, normally such a priggish presence, doesn't have a devilish sense of humor — especially in a hilarious scene where he enters his own head and freaks out? Clever, inspired, and extremely funny, "Malkovich" is cinema-as-funhouse-mirror, and the effect is dizzying.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"