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Man in the Chair

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and thematic elements
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Drama, Comedy
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 7, 2007 (limited)
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Copyright, Outsider Pictures
Relevant Issues
Featuring: Christopher Plummer, Michael Angarano, M. Emmet Walsh, Robert Wagner, Joshua Boyd, George Murdock, Mimi Kennedy, [more]
Director: Michael Schroeder
Producer: Steve Matzkin, Peter Samuelson, Michael Schroeder, Sarah Schroeder, Randolf Turrow
Distributor: Outsider Pictures

“It's never too late to rewrite your life's story.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Cameron Kincaid, a rebellious teenager, constantly getting into trouble, is at odds with his mother and his constantly deriding harsh stepfather. Cameron's a fanatical film buff who longs to be an important filmmaker, but seems more likely to end up in prison than on a film set. Cameron pursues his filmmaking dream when he enters a prestigious student competition, set up over Christmas vacation, which offers the winner a scholarship to the Los Angeles film school.

Cameron enlists the assistance of a reluctant retired gaffer named Flash, the only surviving crew member from the legendary film, ‘Citizen Kane.’ Flash taps into the unused talent of his elderly retired filmmaker friends at the Motion Picture Retirement Home, persuading them to help Cameron with his film.

Among Flash's friends is Mickey Hopkins, a forgotten, geriatric retired screenwriter, living in a squalid, rat-infested home for the aged. Flash approaches Mickey to write the screenplay for Cameron's new movie, but an excited yet terrified Mickey fears that he has lost his magic touch with story. Mickey's confidence is restored when Cameron comes to him for help and shows Mickey how he has not been forgotten on IMDB.

Cameron's new surrogate family and unlikely senior citizen production team winds up filming an award worthy documentary about the plight of the nation's elderly. During the course of the filming, Cameron's life has been transformed through his mentor and friend Flash, who in turn, rediscovers his dignity and can finally accept his fate peacefully.”

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Movie Critics
…wants to confront hard truths about old age in what one character disgustedly labels a throwaway society. But it also insists on applying a thick sugar coating to this very bitter pill. …
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
…director Michael Schroeder almost blows the whole thing by showing off at every opportunity, mixing stocks and speeds, throwing in double exposures, speed-cranking and a sledgehammer metaphorical subplot involving canine euthanasia. …
—Paul Arendt, BBC
…This film is obviously movie-mad, but in all the wrong ways. …
—David Noh, Film Journal International
…saved by gripping performances from Plummer and from M. Emmet Walsh as his deteriorating screenwriter buddy. In large part, ‘Man in the Chair’ is about how the past informs the present, and all the things older people have to offer the generations that follow them. …
—Tasha Robinson, Chicago Tribune
…hackneyed intergenerational drama that loses a touching story in a barrage of excessive editing… Mr. Schroeder …takes a well-meaning if intermittently naïve story and renders it nearly unwatchable…
—S. James Snyder, The New York Sun