Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn
Not a remake of the 1940's Danny Kaye classic, but a re-imagining of the short story that inspired it, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty bounced from hand-to-hand before settling in Ben Stiller's mitts. An actor/director not known to take the understated approach (he struck a pose in Zoolander and shot a war flick in Tropic Thunder), here he does just that both behind and in front of the camera; astounding for a film that features an outlandish sequence involving the central character daydreaming himself as a Benjamin Button figure, cradled in the arms of his 'young' love.
Stiller juggles most of the elements carefully, introducing characters to root for (the voice of Patton Oswalt's eHarmony customer rep pre-empts his later appearance) and others to boo at (step forward Adam Scott, clearly having a chuckle playing cocky company man Ted Hendricks) whilst providing genuine awe. Setting off around the world to find a missing negative taken by Sean Penn's mysterious photographer, Mitty - aloof daydreamer of elaborately heroic scenarios (segued into seamlessly) - begins an adventure of his very own. Tone-juggling, genre-shifting and with a finale that'll leave your heart warmer than a summer's day, this film could be Ben Stiller signalling to us all how he his career path is headed in an unexpected direction, and one tinted with intrigue.