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Joe Gould's Secret (Widescreen)

Ian Holm , Stanley Tucci , Stanley Tucci    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Joe Mitchell (Tucci) is a top writer at The New Yorker specializing in profiles of urban eccentrics. But he s never met anyone as fascinating as Joe Gould a cantankerous unkempt yet possibly brilliant street philosopher. Mitchell decides to profile Gould. But is Gould a fraud or a genius? And why is he so reluctant to show anyone the manuscript he s labored over for years? Mitchell is determined to find out. But the closer he gets to learning the truth about Gould the more the writer discovers about himself. A fiery and unforgettable portrait of two astonishing men and the vibrant city that inspired them. Actors: Hope Davis - Ian Holm - Stanley Tucci. Director: Stanley Tucci. Format: DVD. Format Size: Widescreen. Runtime: 110 mins. Language: English. Region code: Region 1 (United States Canada Bermuda U.S. territories). Discs: 1. Rating: R. Genre: Comedy. Release Year: 2000.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
I watched "Joe Gould's Secret" without knowing that it was based on a true story, but was not surprised when that turned out to be the case because this 2000 film from actor/director Stanley Tucci rings true. Tucci plays Joe Mitchell, a columnist for "The New Yorker" magazine in the early 1940s who had a chance encounter with a Greenwich Village bohemian eccentric named Joe Gould (Ian Holm). His reporter's curiosity piqued, Mitchell asks around a bit and finds that Gould claims to be writing an epic Oral History of New York, an almost daily record of the conversations he has each day with the forgotten ordinary folks of the great metropolis (the Oral History has to be capitalized; that is clear from the way Gould and his friends talk about it). The notebooks containing this million-word history are secreted around the city with the various artist friends who provide Gould patronage by listening to him and making monetary contributions to the Joe Gould Fund. The rationale for their indulgence is articulated by the painter Alice Neel (Susan Sarandon) who tells Mitchell, "I have always felt that the city's s unconscious is trying to speak to you through Joe Gould."

Mitchell discovers that Gould is a walking contradiction, capable of both quick bursts of anger and madness as well as perceptive insights into the human condition. He proves his credentials at being a superb listener by doing a Henry Higgins and telling Mitchell he was born in North Carolina based on a single sentence. Mitchell writes two articles about Gould for "The New Yorker." The first, "Professor Sea Gull," makes Gould even more of a cult figure about the New York intelligentsia, and a publisher (Steve Martin) is interested in at least reading the Oral History.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What rough beast? July 30 2002
Watching this film, after having grown up with the Cummings version of Joe Gould (EE is mentioned peripherally, but does not appear in the film), I learned a great deal, and was profoundly moved by the interaction between the two characters and how it changed both their lives. I will not reveal the ending, except to say that it is something the film slowly builds up to, and it would not have the same impact without the rest of the film. Yes, as others have said, the pacing is a bit slow, but it really had to be that way - if you want to see a fast-paced film, try a search for Clint Eastwood. If you want to see a film about a successful and functional eccentric (albeit one with a tragic family), try Crumb. For a great tragedy about the lives of two writers and how they touched one another, this film will do nicely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little oral history never hurt... March 13 2002
Stanley Tucci has yet to direct anything that could have him labeled a sellout. His work is small in budget and action, big in character study. The true story of JOE GOULD is perfect for Tucci to continue his streak. JOE GOULD was a bohemian homeless genius that loudly created the most important piece of literature never to be published. Ian Holm (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) commands the screen as Joe and Tucci himself is rather touching as the magazine writer who acts as Gould's reluctant biographer. Much of his family life is rather charming which could be a story in itself. That might be because the film borrows from 2 sources, One where he reports on Joe Gould the author and the second where he reveals the truth about Joe. The film has a couple big cameos from Susan Sarandon to Steve Martin. The DVD has a nice video transfer.
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