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Movie Review: The Man Without a Past

Alternate Title: The Man Without a Personality

Story: If you have your volume turned up on your computer you can probably hear a big sigh coming out of your speakers. That's from me. I was terribly disappointed by this year's Oscar Best Foreign Film nominee out of Finland.

A man gets viciously attacked in a park and eventually wakes up with amnesia. (Some of us need to get hit over the head to start a new life.) He ends up homeless and at the mercy and generosity of the underclass of Finland. It takes seemingly forever to get to the point of this film. What is the point? Perhaps that there is goodness and life in all of us no matter our station in life. At some point in the film I just didn't care anymore what happened to anyone. I gave up thinking something was going to happen about 45 minutes into the film. Director Aki Kaurismaki created a film that just did not work for me. I know that this film won the Grand Prix Prize in Cannes in 2002 (The Pianist won the Palme d'Or) which made my disappointment all the greater.By the way, if you were planning a trip to Finland don't go to see this film.

Acting: Markku Peltola as the amnesiac seemed more like Markku, the man with a lobotomy. His love interest, Kati Outinen (who had a sour puss on the whole film) won Best Actress in Cannes for this role. Yikes!

Predilections: I like to see all of Oscar's Foreign Film Nominees, if possible.

Critters: A wonderful dog named Hannibal who had the most personality out of all of the Finns.

Food: Lots of Salvation Army swill. (More gruel, please.)

Visual Art: The walls were not surprisingly, bare.

Blatant Product Placement: Some unidentifiable Finnish stuff.

Soundtrack: The best part of the film.

Opening Titles: Stark titles.

Theater Audience: 10 guys and me.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: This film was so quirky (or foreign) that I did not get it.

Squirm Scale: I only squirmed because time started to stand still for me.

Predictability Level: Who cared?

Tissue Usage: Tears welled in gladness when it was over.

Oscar Worthy: NO

Nit Picking: Don't get me started.

Big Screen or Rental: Forget either. Go see the winner of Oscar 2002 in the Best Foreign film category, Nowhere in Africa instead.

Length: 90 long minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 3