Say ‘cheese’ for One Hour Photo

What really happens when you drop off your film? Academy Award Winner Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam) stars as Seymour “Sy” Parrish in the new thriller One Hour Photo.

Parrish is the senior photo clerk at the local discount superstore. He’s obsessive-compulsive when it comes to his work, such as constantly calling the repairman to balance the colors on the printmaker because they are slightly off. His major obsession lies in an upper middle-class family, the Yorkins. Husband Will (Michael Vartan) owns a design firm, while his wife, Nina (Connie Nielson), is a housewife raising their nine-year-old son, Jakob (Dylan Smith).

Parrish lives both in reality and fantasy. In reality, he lives alone in his bare-walled, monotone apartment, and eats dinner alone at the local diner, showing off the Yorkin family as if it was his own. It is his fantasy to be a member of the Yorkin family. The two come together in one wall of Parrish’s apartment where he has assembled an altar composed of every photo the Yorkin family has taken.

When he’s not at work, Parrish is stalking Nina and talking with Jakob. Prior to Parrish’s dismissal from his job, he becomes overly concerned and devious when he learns from a developed roll of Will’s co-workers that he is sleeping with another woman. Parrish secretly gives those photos to Nina and tries to make sure that she is aware of the affair. When she doesn’t react, Parrish tries to expose Will and his mistress by tracking them down to their secret hideaway.

Director Mark Romarek shot the film in Stanley Kubric fashion. The over-usage of the color white and the use of extreme close-ups contrasted against long, wide spaces. The scenes in the store are an example of this.

Most people see Williams as a comedic character actor, but in this movie, as in his earlier movie Insomnia, he really pushes the limit as a psychopath that you would not want your kids to be around. The movie has already won awards at the Sundance Film Festival and could possibly be an Oscar contender.

I give the movie five hoots out of five.