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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Mr. Nobody

Starts July 8

Mr. Elmo Nobody (Jared Leto) is a 118-year-old man and the last person to die of old age in the year 2092, a time when human cells are endlessly renewed and nobody dies. Therefore, Elmo is newsworthy. Shortly before his demise, a reporter sits at his bedside to record his life’s story. Did he, in retrospect, make the right decisions? In flashbacks we see him at age nine, having to make a heart-rending choice between his divorcing parents. As an adult he is married to three women simultaneously: Anna (Diane Kruger), Elise (Sarah Polley), and Jean (Linh Dan Pham) with whom he has various children.

Gradually, I sorted out the intention of the plot (as Elmo says, “…nothing happens, like a French movie.”). This is a man who lives out multiple opportunities, who makes no choices. His philosophy is, “If you don’t choose, then everything remains possible.” Or “If you have to make a choice, then every path is the right path.” In different versions of his life he resides with both his parents, as well as with all three wives. Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael has made a beautiful fantasy film with all the right photography, especially the rich colors, and which showed at the 2009 Toronto film festival. It’s in the same category of, perhaps, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or It’s a Wonderful Life, but, still, it is a unique idea. Watch especially for charismatic young British actor Toby Regbo, who plays Nemo at age 16.

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