We'd thought Ben Stiller had hung up his straight-faced acting boots after the underwhelming response to Greenberg, returning to the comfortable comedic confines of ego-affirming, promised commercial successes such as the Meet the Parents and Madagascar franchises. But the beautifully cut trailer to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (set to Of Monsters and Mens's "Dirty Paws") argues otherwise. In the second cinematic interpretation of the original story by James Thurber — the first starred a similarly cast though more animated Danny Kaye — Stiller is a salaried magazine photo manager whose slow, repetitive, routine life is only ever interrupted by daydreams of adventure. Relatable enough. Soon a negative goes missing and the work emergency thrusts him into a real-life adventure. What unfolds, if the trailer is to be believed, looks enthralling. Stiller also directed the movie, which is now picking up early awards buzz. It opens on Christmas day.
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