Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1992. Baltimore Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox. Screenplay by Valerie Curtin, Barry Levinson. Cinematography by Adam Greenberg. Produced by Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson. Music by Trevor Horn, Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Costume Design by Albert Wolsky. Film Editing by Stu Linder.
Visual splendour is compromised by a nonsensical screenplay in this Robin Williams comedy directed by Barry Levinson to little effect. When his uncle (Donald O’Connor) dies and leaves him his toy factory, Williams decides to maintain the principles of fun and joy that have kept the place going for so long. This becomes difficult, however, when his warmongering relative (Michael Gambon) tries to stage a coup and use the factory for producing weapons of mass destruction. The sets by Ferdinando Scarfiotti are absolutely dazzling, some of the most original work ever seen on screen (inspired by Dadaist artistic philosophy to boot), but the film’s anti-war message is insultingly obvious and its attempts at comedy are never very funny. Williams has a good time, as do Robin Wright as his love interest and Joan Cusack as his sister, but the audience doesn’t really get to share much of it.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design