Harold Crick has a voice in his head, narrating everything he does. That's reason for concern.

But when the voice starts declaring that Howard is about to suffer a sudden demise, well, that's reason for panic.

Stranger Than Fiction stars Will Ferrell, but it is not a typical Will Ferrell movie. It's a thoughtful, amusing, poignant comedy about the meaning of life. As Harold hunts down the novelist who is crafting his story, he is developing a desire to live.

And while the movie might have settled for a "seize the day, savor the moment" conclusion, the movie is earning raves from Christian film critics for its willingness to go even farther and become a story about selflessness.

What is more, it features memorable supporting performances by Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal; a romance that has moments of real class (well, for a few minutes, at least); and surprising, inventive special effects, the most remarkable of which is a restrained performance from Ferrell that will give his naysayers second thoughts.

In other words, Marc Forster, the versatile, imaginative director who brought us Finding Neverland, has crafted another winner.

Peter T. Chattaway (Christianity Today Movies) says, "Like Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love, Ferrell is playing a character who resembles some of his other roles, but he reins in any urge he might have had to ham things up; instead, he puts his skills to the service of an ambitious story told by a filmmaker who truly knows his craft."

Regarding the film as a whole, Chattaway points out a few faults. "Movies about fictional artists often falter when they portray the work produced by those artists, especially when the films go out of their way to try to persuade us that the artists in ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.