CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Sam Rockwell has a way with flawed anti-heroes, and his performance in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” is a prime example of that. Directed by and starring George Clooney, “Confessions” follows the autobiographical (and somewhat contested) true-to-life story of Chuck Barris, best known for developing the concept for The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. Barris’s life comes into question whether or not he was secretly a CIA agent on the side of being a television producer and songwriter. The film unfolds this story, with Rockwell playing Barris, right before our eyes, mixing in real-life interviews with people that knew Barris, like Dick Clark and Dating Game host Jim Lange.
The ethereal Charlie Kaufman, working off the real-life memoir of Chuck Barris, writes “Confessions,” which spans most of one man’s entire adult life and, unforgettably so, speaks with such a distinct tongue. Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts offer excellent performances, bringing to life these somewhat unbelievable women with a grace that forces you to take them seriously. You look forward to Barrymore’s presence, as she garners a strong presence and healthy sexuality that radiates in every scene. Rockwell, however, is the mysterious force of the film that creates both a harmonious and melancholy appearance all at the same time. He’s a playboy, but a drifter, a cold-blooded killer yet an enthusiastic game show host. Rockwell covers all these bases with ease and continuously impresses. Whether or not the real-life Chuck Barris is speaking the truth does not change the fact that his life makes for an entertaining ride in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and Clooney does an expert job at delivering this strange story to the big screen.
August 15, 2003
“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”
by Chuck Barris
(for language, sexual content and violence)
Newton Thomas Sigel