The Big Empty (2005)
Starring: Selma Blair, Elias Koteas, Richard Kind, Gabriel Mann, and Hugh Laurie
Director: J. Lisa Chang
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars
When its discovered that Alice (Blair) has a vagina that serves as the gateway to a vast, frozen wasteland, the doctor who makes the discovery (Koteas) takes her on the lecture and talk show circuits, using her as his own ticket to fame and fortune. But an encounter with a caring young man (Mann) may finally alleviate the painful, cold aching inside her.
I'm not sure what to make of this 21-minute film. My first thought was that maybe it was the story of the pain a woman unable to have children might feel, but toward the end I thought it might be about the emptiness and heartache one feels living without love in one's life. Perhaps the message in this film is a Woman Thing, because I'm left scratching my head.
Despite my uncertainty of what the filmmakers are trying to say, I am impressed with the creativity (and touch of craziness) in the idea of this film, as well in its execution. The oddness of the film isn't restricted to its subject matter, but also to its costume and production design which is a mixture of modern-day and 1950sh sort of look that gives it a timeless, dreamlike quality. It's also impressive that, despite the sad tone that runs through the piece, the filmmakers bring on a high number of laughs as it unfolds, with the cameo appearance by Hugh "Dr. House" Laurie being funny just because of who he is. The concluding special effects shot is also jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
All in all, this is a film that's a fitting work product for all the movie heavy-weights involved, ranging from the well-known actors to executive producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh.
You can watch "The Big Empty" in its entirety via this very post. Just click on the arrow below. I hope you enjoy the film, and I hope you'll share your opinion of it.
(This is actually the first of two films titled "The Big Empty" that I'll be reviewing before November has run its course.)