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One Hour Photo (2002, Robin Williams, Gary Cole)

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Sy Parrish (Robin Williams) runs a photo-developing booth in the mall of a small town and takes his job seriously, re-developing pictures if the colours aren’t just right, giving his best customers upgrades and gifts and generally regarded as an OK guy. One of his regular clients is Will Yorkin (Michael Vartan), who’s been bringing in films of him, his wife (Connie Nielson) and son Jakob (Dylan Smith) for years. Sy, single and living alone, has over the years become obsessed with them as the perfect family but when he finds that not only is Will having an affair but his own job is under threat, he must take action…

Williams has had to spend years shedding his funny man image as a stand-up comedian and the alien Mork but his most interesting work comes from his straight roles in films and in particular as a psychologically-damaged killer, as he showed both in this film and Insomnia . The latter gained more attention but this is an equally stunning performance, with Williams almost unrecognisable as the middle-aged, downtrodden Sy slipping into obsessive madness (first-time director Mark Romanek constructs one shot that reveals his relationship with the Yorkins’ that is quietly chilling) and while the surrounding cast are all excellent, this film belongs to Williams.

production details
USA | 96 minutes | 2002

Writer and Director: Mark Romanek

cast
Robin Williams as Seymour Parrish
Clark Gregg as Det. Paul Outerbridge
Nick Searcy as Repairman
Lee Garlington as Waitress
Gary Cole as Bill Owens
Peter MacKenzie as Hotel Desk Manager
Dylan Smith as Jake Yorkin
Jim Rash as Amateur Porn Guy
Erin Daniels as Maya Burson
Connie Nielsen as Nina Yorkin
Michael Vartan as Will Yorkin
Eriq La Salle as Det. James Van Der Zee
Marion Calvert as Mrs. Von Unwerth
David Moreland as Mr. Siskind
Dave Engfer as Sav-Mart Clerk
Jimmy Shubert as Soccer Coach
Andy Rolfes as Officer Lyon
Carmen Mormino as Officer Bravo
Andy Comeau as Duane
Robert Clotworthy as Eye Surgeon
Jesse Borja as Cook
Jeana Wilson as Nurse
Megan Corletto as Risa Owens
Paul Hansen Kim as Yoshi Araki