From a distance, nothing in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty screams out for attention. Essentially about an ordinary guy who daydreams of going on epic adventures across astounding vistas, placing such a story in the hands of a comedic filmmaker like Ben Stiller seems… odd. I won’t say disastrous, because Zoolander turned out absolutely hilariously, and Tropic Thunder was far more inventive than most comedies nowadays. Still, it’s a vague sell on paper.
In the recently released trailer, though, it screams as Stiller’s ascendance to the Oscar leagues at the very least. Which is to say it looks visually astonishing, not dissimilarly from how Life of Pi drew viewers in for the visual splendor of it. Given there’s little to no dialogue present in this trailer, it’s hard to know the comedic tone Stiller is going for, but the visuals are enough to sell us on the core concept. Biggest complaint, though, is that quaint music, but it’s a trailer meant to sell, so I’ll let that pass until we see more. It’s hard to tell from this trailer if the film will actually be good, or if it just looks stunning.
And when I say it’s in the Oscar race, I mean that, particularly for visual effects. Before now it was Gravity‘s prize to walk away with, but Secret Life of Walter Mitty may just give Alfonso Cuaron’s film a run for its money. Other than that, it’s hard to say how big or small it will hit with the Academy, but this looks like more considerable family fare than Saving Mr. Banks, at least from where I’m sitting. Take a look at the trailer here, and then come back with your thoughts on it.