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One Hour Photo (2002), R
Analysis Date: September 18, 2002
CAP Score: 49
CAP Influence Density: 1.28
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ONE HOUR PHOTO (R) -- ...a quiet, pleasant and well trimmed fellow of exceeding politeness...
Production: Catch 23 Entertainment, Killer Films, Laughlin Park Pictures, Madjak Films
Distribution: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Mark Romanek
Producer(s): Jeremy W. Barber, Robert Katz, Pamela Koffler, Robert B. Sturm, Christine Vachon, John Wells, Stan Wlodkowski
Written by/Screenplay: Mark Romanek
Cinematography/Camera: Jeff Cronenweth
Music: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek
Film Editing: Jeffrey Ford
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: Tom Foden
Art Direction: Michael Manson
One Hour Photo (R) is not as "R" as Stealing Harvard (PG-13). Go figure.
Though "R" enough, with a final score of 49 out of 100 One Hour Photo is not as "R" as Stealing Harvard and it is rated PG-13 with a final score equivalent to R-rated movies (an R-13 score). Stealing Harvard is an example of the use of many assaults on morality and decency, each of lesser severity, to get the same "R-ness" envelope of movies like One Hour Photo which use fewer assaults but each being much more bold and invasive. Let me revisit that finding before I get into the plot summary commentary.
Some movies present programming with a greater number of examples of assault on morality and decency each of lesser severity to achieve the same "effect" as other movies which present fewer issues but each of greater severity of assault. For example, movie A presents 100 examples of "lesser" issues of assault on morality and decency, each worth 10 "bads." Movie B presents only 10 examples of assault on morality and decency but each of greater severity, each worth 100 "bads." The impact or influence on the observer is the same -- 1000 bads. Such a subtle technique may be invisible to the conscious mind but it is not invisible to developing character or values. Nor is it invisible to the CAP analysis model. Stealing Harvard is an example of movie A. One Hour Photo is an example of movie B.
The "photo guy", Seymour "Sy" Parrish (Robin Williams) at SavMart (replace "Sav" with "Wal" and you have the picture) has an obsession: an obsession with a "picture perfect" family that regularly process their snapshots at SavMart; an obsession with Nina Yorkin (Connie Nielsen) and her son, Jakob (Dylan Smith) anyway. Will Yorkin (Michael Vartan) is the focus of Sy's resentment and anger ... and aggression. It seems Will is not as "picture perfect" as the family pictures tell. But when Sy discovers some pictures of Will that reveal the true picture of Will and when Sy comes up with some of his own pictures of Will, the picture becomes clear. But what Sy did to get some of those pictures!
One whole wall of Sy's apartment is covered with pictures ... of the Yorkin family. Sy has been collecting Yorkin family pictures over the years by pilfering an extra exposure from each order. The Yorkins ordered double prints. Sy made triple. Kept one. For years. What an assault on trust. The nice guy at the photo counter making extra copies of personal pictures! Imagine some weird dude staring at pictures of your family and displaying them all over his apartment wall. For years! What could be on his mind? Where is he going with this?
At first meeting, Sy is a quiet, pleasant and well trimmed fellow of exceeding politeness, figuratively genuflecting to everyone he meets. And a perfectionist. Sy is the kind of guy you were happy to have met but who is quickly forgotten: an obscure blur in your recall of a place you have once been; the undefinable presence rather than a sentient being, wrestling to be at least a part of someone's reality. He eats alone in the same diner every night. He lives alone in a bland apartment and has no friends, not even a pet. He lives to collect pictures of his "family", the family of "Uncle Sy." He lives to gaze at their pictures. And to each who obsesses over a thing comes a time when what is had is not enough, when fantasies no longer fulfill and imagery no longer imitates. Like a narcotic, more is needed to quench the lust. That time came to Sy when he discovered Will Yorkin was unfaithful to Nina.
In what seemed like moments after Sy discovered Will's unfaithfulness, Sy's boss, Bill Owens (Gary Cole) announced Sy has been cheating the company for years. All those triple prints that were made when double prints were bought caught up with Sy. Now, Sy's quiet and pleasant personality becomes not so pleasant or quiet. We see a sample of a volcanic personality. We also see a sample of Sy's perfectionism. When Sy calls in a repairman (Nick Searcy) to service the photo lab processing machine which is suffering a blue shift of 3 angstroms, the repairman gripes about Sy calling him in for a mere 3 angstrom blue shift when he has three other machines that really need fixing. Sy explodes in a fourth-of-July display of sharp words in the middle of a group of customers. So, the employee of the month is not so "of the month" after all.
This film presents full frontal male nudity and the female bed partner with an open robe. Repeatedly. It also presents stills of "amateur porn" photographers. [**] Several episodes of a strong sense of obsession by a high-wattage performer as Williams can serve to make such a personality trait attractive to some, especially the impressionable [1 Cor. 15:33]. An indirect threat of a child to intimidate a parent, a man getting overly familiar with a child [Matt. 18:10], assault, a threat to kill with a hunting knife and forced sexual performance at knife-point made this film a quite violent one [Prov. 3:31-32]. The number of uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary is shadowed by the use of the most foul of the foul words [Prov. 22:11, Prov. 8:13]. And God's name is used in vain both with and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will tell all that was noted.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
** "Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
*******Food for Daily Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|