A disgraced DJ finds possible redemption in the form of a deranged
homeless man who was an unwitting victim of the DJ's terrible mistake.
The Fisher King (1991)
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Written by Richard LaGravenese
Staring Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl,
Amanda Plummer, Michael Jeter, David Hyde Pierce
Oscar Wins - Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Robin Williams), Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score (George Fenton)
The Fisher King is Terry Gilliam's most endearing movie, and it exists right in that impossible sweet spot between unhinged dramedy and waking dystopian nightmare that few Gilliam films dare to tread. It's a sweet, humanizing tale of redemption in a world that's running low on forgiveness. Thanks to fantastic performances from Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams, you find yourself rooting for everyone to emerge from this nightmarish scenario unscathed and stronger for it. I wish Gilliam did more films like this instead of spending 20 years on that forgettable Don Quixote disaster.
Jeff Bridges is Jack Lucas, an arrogant shock jock who makes a living being outrageous on the radio. When something he says inspires a lunatic to shoot up a restaurant, Lucas's career is shattered and he becomes suicidal due to the immense guilt. When he nearly kills himself, he's rescued by a bizarre homeless man named Parry (Williams), who believes himself to be on a quest for the Holy Grail. In reality, Parry's wife was one of the victims of the shooting, and Jack feels an obligation to help Parry fix his own life. Thus, a friendship blossoms as Parry helps Jack learn to forgive himself and be a better man. It's hard not to fall in love with this story, especially since Bridges and Williams are both such likable actors.
The Fisher King is a film that was big in the 90's but you don't hear a lot of people talking about it these days. In Gilliam's filmography, the ones that often come up are Brazil, Time Bandits, and the Monty Python stuff. The Fisher King is a solid drama that features just enough weird Gilliam shit to keep it memorable, and just enough off-the-cuff humor to keep you engaged. Like I said, it exists right in the sweet spot. Check it out.