In response to Friday’s item about those six fall-holiday Columbia films that may be high-pedigree, a guy I know who’s seen Running With Scissors and Stranger Than Fiction wrote in and shared. “Scissors I’m in love with,” he began. “It will be hard to beat Annette Bening for Best Actress this year, and both Jill Clayburgh and Brian Cox are standouts in the supporting cast. [The film] has a weird sense of blending the styles of Cameron Crowe and Wes Anderson that is hard to describe, but it is a fun film that ultimately really, really works.
Stranger Than Fiction is on similar turf, [although] it falls apart ever so slightly in its third act. Seriously, it felt like best-of-the-decade material for much of the running time until the end failed to capitalize, at least in my eyes, on the promise of the first two thirds. But it’s a touching tale, and Will Ferrell is as good in the flick as Jim Carrey was in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And watch out for a feisty Maggie Gyllenhaal, who’ll have World Trade Center and Sherry Baby to help push her toward supporting actress recognition. Who knows what changes will occur or have occured on these prints since I saw them, but both were at the very least capable and likely awards outings. I expect screenplay nominations for both to be a serious possibility.”
For what it’s worth, I spoke to another early viewer of Stranger Than Fiction and he disagreed with the other guy’s assessment of a third-act problem.