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Napoleon Dynamite  

I had originally resisted this one since ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is one of my man Elvis Costello’s nicknames, which has apparently been nicked without crediting the man.   However, the film turns out to be a good laugh.   It stars Jon Heder as the titular character, a high school kid so nerdy that he probably would’ve given my Athens High social set a run for its money in the dorkdom department (no easy task).   At least we were never into nunchucks or Pegasus.   He's utterly recalcitrant, and thus completely cool.   So much of comedy is tone, timing and delivery, and Heder is spot-on, both in his line readings and his body movements.   The rest of the cast is generally good as well, particularly Efren Ramirez and Tina Majorino as Napoleon’s only friends, although the performances that are underplayed are much funnier than those that are overplayed.   The vast, empty Idaho horizon is nicely captured by Munn Powell.     


- Sep 10, 2004  

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