King of the Corner

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  • R
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 5.8  (577)
  • 55

King of the Corner is a drama-comedy film from 2004 starring Peter Riegert, Frank Wood, and Jake Hoffman. Written and directed by Peter Riegert himself, the film takes a look at the life and struggles of a middle-aged man named Leo Spivak (Riegert) who navigates the challenges of his work, family, and personal life. The movie starts with Leo, a talented copywriter, working at an advertising agency in Philadelphia. Leo is highly skilled at his job, but his career is going nowhere, and he is stuck in a dead-end job. On top of that, he is dealing with a failing marriage with his wife Rachel (Isabella Rossellini), who is cheating on him with another man.

Despite all the challenges he faces, Leo tries to find some solace in his life. He starts hanging out with much younger co-workers, who he sees as more vibrant and exciting than his peers. He also begins an affair with his son's former girlfriend (Angela Lansbury), who is twice his age.

As the movie progresses, Leo's world starts to unravel, and he finds himself constantly pushing against the confines of his life. He is struggling with loneliness and a sense of losing purpose. The narrative deals with Leo's experiences in his work, with his romantic relationships, and his trying to understand his place in the world.

One of the film's standout performances comes from Frank Wood, who plays Leo's eccentric father. Wood's character is a culmination of some of Leo's worst fears, with his father's poor health, carelessness, and detachment from reality. Wood's character brings a sense of levity to the film, and the father-son relationship serves as a crucial part of the movie's emotional core.

King of the Corner effectively examines the complexities of modern-day life, from dealing with aging parents and financial pressures to the pursuit of love and happiness. Leo is a relatable character, and many will likely see reflections of themselves in his struggles. The film is a commentary on the current workplace culture, where many talented people are left feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled in their respective jobs, even if they are good at what they do.

The film's direction is impressive. Riegert does an excellent job of using various cinematic mediums to drive the narrative, including animation and claymation. These scenes provide a welcome respite from the real-life woes of the characters and help to break up the visual monotony of the film.

Overall, King of the Corner is an excellent depiction of an individual in midlife crisis, navigating the complexities of life. The film is a poignant reminder that we are all struggling to find fulfillment in life and that some of the things that we desire the most can ultimately prove to be our downfall. It's a well-crafted and beautifully acted film, and Riegert should be commended for his directorial debut.

King of the Corner
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (577)
  • Metascore