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I Heart Huckabees - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

IT'S been chosen to close this year's London Film Festival 2004 and marks the eagerly-anticipated follow-up of Three Kings director, David O Russell, so what exactly is I Heart Huckabees about?

It stars Jason Schwartzman as Albert Markovski, the head of the Open Spaces Coalition, who has been experiencing an alarming series of coincidences, the meaning of which he is unable to comprehend.

Enlisting the help of two Existential Detectives, Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin), Albert examines his life, and his conflict with Brad Stand (Jude Law), an executive climbing the corporate ladder at Huckabees, a popular chain of retail stores.

But when Brad also hires the detectives, they dig deep into his seemingly perfect life and his relationship with his spokesmodel girlfriend, Dawn Campbell (Naomi Watts) - who happens to be the voice of Huckabees.

Albert, meanwhile, pairs up with a rebel firefighter, named Tommy Corn (Mark Wahlberg), to take matters into his own hands, under the guidance of the Jaffe's nemesis, the French radical Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert).


Sound weird? You bet, but then what else could you expect from the director of the eccentric Gulf War drama, Three Kings, and the earlier Sundance favourite, Spanking The Monkey?

There's no getting away from the quality of the cast, however, or the fact that London Film Festival artistic director, Sandra Hebron, had this to say about it:

"Don't be fooled by this synopsis, which makes this exhuberant existential comedy from David O. Russell sound something like a film - or at least a kind of film - you might have seen before, and gives little away about its sheer bonkersness.

"This isn't to demean the film at all, for there's more ingenuity, invention and political engagement in I Heart Huckabees than in most, mainstream or otherwise.

"Credit too, to his dream-team of a cast, who throw themselves into the proceedings with such enthusiasm that it's hard to separate them in terms of strength of performance (and really who wants to decide whether Hoffman is better than Schwartzman or Tomlin better than Huppert?).

"An end of Festival treat, this is hugely enjoyable film-making that sneaks in no end of moral and emotional concerns, and amply demonstrates that in making the transition to established director, Russell has lost none of his irreverent indie edge."

The film will close the London Film Festival on November 4, and will be released in the UK on January 28, 2005.

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