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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.29%
Average: 3.17%
Pretty Bad: 6.35%
Total Crap: 6.35%

3 reviews, 45 user ratings

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Fisher King, The
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by Only Dreaming

"I'd like to thank the Academy...actually, no, I wouldn't."
5 stars

Robin Williams won his first Oscar ever for Good Will Hunting. A fine film, and a fine performance by the man. But how did he not win the award for this movie? How? What demented reality was the Academy living in?

It takes a lot for a movie to really wow me. The Fisher King set me up, bowled me over, and didn't even bother to reset me. The plot: A Howard Stern-like radio personality (Jack, played by Jeff Bridges) gives some snide words against yuppies to a regular caller. Said regular caller snaps, enters a yuppie-filled bar, and opens fire with a shotgun and then turns the gun on himself. Said radio personality partly loses his mind and fully loses his motivation as a result. On a particularly drunken bout, he meets a total lunatic (Perry, played by Robin Williams)who, he soon discovers, he feels a tie to whether he wants to or not. Perry's questing for the Holy Grail, and he pulls Jack into it because Jack's the Chosen One.

This is a story of insanity, reality, and redemption. Williams is, frankly, brilliant. You feel SO strongly about his character that you want to enter the film and fix him yourself.

The movie has many giggle points, although many of them are guilty giggles. You're laughing because of Perry's irratic behavior, but you feel bad for it because he's legitimately insane. You're not supposed to laugh at crazy people (unless they're choosing to be, but that's a horse of a different color). You're also horrified at the absolute trauma Perry's experiencing, and frustrated with Jack's blundering attempts to "fix" it. One particularly gory scene does a fantastic job of bringing the horror of Perry's trauma home.

Two gripes: One: I have NEVER felt a need to see Robin Williams naked. EVER. He is the hairiest guy this side of Bigfoot. In what's meant to be one of the most poignant scenes in the movie (as well as one of the few times Perry's truly lucid), I was somewhat distracted with a thought that consisted primarily of "DAMN. He's HAIRY." Two: The very final part of the movie, once the movie's actually resolved and over, the final graphical bit is pure cheese and TOTALLY unnecessary. It leaves you with a hokey taste in your mouth after a movie that should just leave you speechless.

This film is easily one of the 10 best I've seen in my life. It's a beautifully done film, marvellously acted (by leads and supportings), well-scripted...see it. Love it. Learn from it.

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originally posted: 04/24/00 11:05:10
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 San Francisco Film Festival For more in the 2007 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/12/18 Amme I lasted about 30 minutes... 2 stars
11/06/17 FireWithFire Wrong terry: the insane are not saner than the sane.You're one-sided. The '60s are OVER!!!! 1 stars
6/21/15 dr. lao If you only see one Robin Williams movie, make it this one 5 stars
8/26/14 FireWithFire Only in Gilliam's CHILDISH ,whiny,preachy imagination are the insane saner than normals 1 stars
8/15/14 john B Raw, incredible, credible, gutsy, multilevelled 5 stars
4/12/11 Dakota Bruce Go Ecstasy!!! 5 stars
12/06/10 judy what does the pinnochio symbolize in the movie? 4 stars
3/29/10 Billl Flowers Great acting throughout. Loved Plummer's character. 4 stars
3/22/10 Mark I like a Gershwin tune...and a Gilliam film! 5 stars
11/26/08 Leo T overacted and very effective... sweet and weird 4 stars
3/07/08 Quigley Gillam destroyed what could have been a powerful story. 2 stars
10/27/07 daveyt the grand central ballroom scene gets 5 stars on its own...! 5 stars
8/21/07 Matthew Cardier Few films combine madness and redemption, fantasy and reality as beautifully as this. 5 stars
6/18/07 fools♫gold Gilliam's films all deserve the same grades. 5 stars
4/05/07 JamesCole One of the greatest movies ever made. Really! 5 stars
4/04/07 R.W.Welch Overlong but mostly interesting story line. Ruehl rules. 4 stars
5/18/06 chienne Simply marvellous. Kudos to Robin Williams. 5 stars
12/19/05 Bree A few tears. A few laughs. And Jeff Bridges. 5 stars
8/28/05 asina this is one of the deepest, most rich films ever made. 5 stars
6/20/05 Wunson Future one of my all-time favorites---painful, funny, poignant 5 stars
11/16/04 Phil M. Aficionado I guess I wasn't in the mood for a mish-mash fantasy with wooden dialogue. Strange flick. 2 stars
6/22/04 John Williams overacts like crazy and Gilliam squeezes every scene for effect - less is more! 2 stars
12/14/03 roakat symbolism is the word. redemption and sin are the grand theme. williams and bridges brill 5 stars
11/23/03 Raymond Chandler Uplifting fable of loss, redemption, true love. Brilliant acting. US' BEST FILM of the90's. 5 stars
11/20/03 Denise Waters This movie goes into some many different levels it would be impossible to fully understand 5 stars
10/13/03 francis despite mostly good acting, sometimes bored me. Williams comes unstuck in romance scenes 3 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano Ooh! Isn't mental illness funny? 1 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Strong visuals help; someone wake up Bridges 4 stars
5/20/02 siro My 2nd favorite movie of all time. If only more films were made this way.... 5 stars
4/30/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Turgid misfire! Mercedes Ruehl sucks her own turds & gets Oscar for it. Others hardly bettr 1 stars
6/18/01 Ken All hail Terry Gilliam! 5 stars
5/10/01 StageHand First Rate! 5 stars
3/08/01 Richard Wright An intruging plot that goes downhill when Mork arrives.Not as clever as it wants to be. 3 stars
11/18/00 salvo amazing cast, such an intelligent film. 5 stars
4/26/00 PhilmPhreak Terry Gilliam's the MAN! 5 stars
3/01/00 Jesse S. I thought this film was a little weird, but I really enjoyed seeing Robin Williams naked!!! 4 stars
1/25/00 Chris Whitney The film that robbed Jeff Bridges of an oscar 5 stars
1/15/00 k.tomkowski Highly original and memorable. 5 stars
12/04/99 PervertedPixie A kinda urban fairytale inducing lots of laughter and tears. It charmed me. 5 stars
12/01/99 Michael Tancsak Most intreging and original movie I've seen in a while!! 5 stars
11/24/99 richard webber genius. Top 10 film of all time 5 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread Just one more reason why I love Terry Gilliam and Robin Williams 4 stars
7/04/99 randy grubbs robin williams is great 4 stars
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  02-Feb-1991 (R)

  02-Jul-1991 (15)

  02-Jul-1991 (M)

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