Review: ‘Nothing’

"Nothing" is a colossal disappointment from Canuck director Vincenzo Natali, following his inventive cult thriller "Cube" and recent conspiracy brain-twister "Cypher" (only just released after a year on Miramax's shelf). Pic aims high -- an existential comedy set in a limitless nothingness -- but wears down its audience with juvenile, motormouth humor.

“Nothing” is a colossal disappointment from Canuck director Vincenzo Natali, following his inventive cult thriller “Cube” and recent conspiracy brain-twister “Cypher” (only just released after a year on Miramax’s shelf). Pic aims high — an existential comedy set in a limitless nothingness — but wears down its audience with juvenile, motormouth humor.

So high concept it’s almost Zen-like, pic centers on two anti-social losers — self-centered corporate employee Dave (Bill Murray lookalike David Hewlett), who’s been screwed by embezzling g.f. Sarah (Marie Josee Croze), and agoraphobic travel agent Andrew (Andrew |Miller), who’s accused of molesting a minor (Elana Shilling). Pair lives in a cluttered old Toronto house squeezed between an expressway and an off-ramp; just when things couldn’t get worse, they mysteriously find themselves zapped into a vast white world with no definable topography. Remaining 70 minutes is filled with endless spatting, goofing around and cartoon-like antics that have no perceptible rhyme or reason. Derek Rogers’ widescreen lensing is sole point of interest.

Nothing

Canada

Production

An Odeon Films release of an Alliance Atlantis presentation, in association with Senator Intl., of a 49 Films production. (International sales: Senator Intl., Beverly Hills, Calif.) Produced by Steven Hoban. Executive producers, Noah Segal, Vincenzo Natali, Andrew Lowery, Andrew Miller, Nobuhiko Sakoth, Hanno Huth. Directed by Vincenzo Natali. Screenplay, Andrew Lowery, Andrew Miller; story, Natali, Miller, Lowery.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Derek Rogers; editor, Michele Conroy; music, Michael Andrews; production designers, Jasna Stefanovich, Peter Cosco; art director, Anastasia Masaro; costume designer, Alex Kavanagh. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Perspective Canada), Sept. 9, 2003. English dialogue. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Andrew Lowery, Marie-Josee Croze, Gordon Pinsent, Elana Shilling.
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