The Weather Man
Divorce, detachment and depression – three key themes central to Gore Verbinski’s comedy drama starring Nicolas Cage as The Weather Man. The narrative begins with the protagonist having already completed his descent into a state of desolation. The cinematography immediately sets the tone, reflecting the mood with a colour palette of mute greys and pastel blues filling the screen.
Verbinski’s direction is steady and mellow as the story unravels, completely contrasting the frantic pace of his Pirate adventure trilogy. In order to suit the film’s dark humoured approach the director avoids the eccentric and slapstick to find laughs; instead drawing comedy from David Spritz’ inner monologues, personal experiences and emotion in a suitably dry manner.
Cage has more than proven his worth with a unique ability to act. His fantastic performances in Adaptation, Leaving Las Vegas and Matchstick Men are often forgotten with more attention being paid to hypercriticising and slating a very hit-or-miss filmography. Here he is convincing in his portrayal of the different aspects of Spritz; as a father, son and professional. His inner conflict differentiates between the three and Cage handles them all magnificently.
Under a good director Cage can boast his best performances; Ridley Scott (Matchstick Men), Spike Jonze (Adaptation) and the Coens (Raising Arizona). However the film has an equally terrific supporting cast with Michael Caine as his father, Hope Davis as his ex-wife and Nicholas Hoult as his son, each of these characters provide their own interesting sub-narrative to accompany David Spritz’ midlife crisis.
The magnificent performances and relevant, well-handled subplots aid an already great central narrative, making The Weather Man a highly entertaining watch despite its sullen content and approach.