The Big Empty is a difficult film to describe. Released to film festivals in 2003, it doesn’t seem to have gotten a wide release. It was written and directed by Steve Anderson, his first credit for either job, and very nearly his only credit; he has written a couple of films since, and directed a documentary on the F word. For his directorial debut, he did a very good job; he has several familiar actors who all turn in solid or great performances, and the film is filled with some very good shots. The film looks great, and the way the film emphasizes the isolation of the setting helps sell the strangeness of the many characters that inhabit it.
The film stars Jon Favreau, who has become known as a director himself. He plays struggling actor John Person — a stage name — and has a constant look of bewildered confusion on his face, even when he’s blending it with anger, or tenderness, or desperation. This is perfectly fitting with the movie, as while The Big Empty is listed as a comedy on IMDb and other sites, it’s not so much funny “ha ha” as it is funny weird. Continue reading