So what happens when we we’re faced with making a choice we don’t want to make? That’s the question in director Jaco Van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody, a well-mounted, well-meaning, well-acted riff on choice, the butterfly effect, time and pigeon superstition.
Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto as an adult) stands on a train station with his recently divorced mother and father, trying to decide whether he’s made the right choice to stay with his father. As his mother boards her train, Nemo runs after her, and his life splits into two parts so that he doesn’t have to make a choice.
There are other choices, too, and some dandy special effects, and wonderful performances by Leto, Juno Temple, Diane Kruger and Sarah Polley. But Mr. Nobody—which is just such a terrible dumb-clever title—is something of a pidgin narrative, with the many lives Nemo Nobody hacked up and changed and maneuvered and rearranged as he tries to figure out which is the best choice for himself. Eventually it becomes dull and repetitive, even if it looks great.
It’s also not nearly as deep as it thinks it is. Still, it’s quite a journey, and those given to quasi-philosophical science fiction will really dig it.
Directed by Jaco Van Dormael
With Jared Leto, June Temple and Diane Kruger
Jean Cocteau Theater