Tuesday, November 20, 2007
King of California
WORTH-IT: (Cahill) Kudos to Mike Cahill for his debut film, King of California: a terrific, absolutely terrific, film about believing in yourself, and in your family. Performances from Evan Rachel Wood and Michael Douglas credit this film for the acclaim it deserved (and received) at Sundance this year. The film is eclectic with a Little Miss Sunshine feel, but it digs deeper into the mind, shifting towards a Big Fish storyline. To trust your father or not trust your father? That is the common question. It combines fantasy and real-life in such a way that makes you question which is authentic and which deserves more attention? Douglas's Charlie is a single hippie father freshly discharged from a mental hospital and living without restriction in the house he can't pay for. Daughter Miranda, who has been supporting herself by selling McD's for the last two years, rolls her eyes in constant frustration over her father's relentless insistence that while he was in the hospital, he discovered a journal revealing the location of a large Spanish treasure dropped in the 17th century. Once home, he delves into finding the buried treasure, dragging Miranda along. The journey the two take around California's developing hillside easily turns into a desire to grow closer together and get to know each other again. The script touches on learning to trust, learning to accept family, and learning to hope. Above all, it emphasizes to whole-heartedly believe in what you believe in. Chase your dreams to the end is the motto Charlie seems to live by, illustrated by his constant effort to continue a seemingly dead-end search. Even when the X-marked spot is six feet under a cement and re bar Costco floor, Charlie sees no reason to quit. The film is fantastic. It is funny, warm, smart, and silly. More than you'll swim in emotion, you'll giggle softly, rethink lines, and re-evaluate whether or not you too believe Charlie, or believe your own dreams. See this film for the phenomenal first-time film maker's success. It's a winner.