Michael Pitt: 10 Greatest movies of all time

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8. Rhinoceros Eyes

Release Date: April 23, 2004

Box Office Earnings: I couldn’t find a number for its earnings, but I assume it made little to no money.

Critical acclaimA perfect example of why one shouldn’t rely so completely on a critics’ opinion. On Rotten Tomatoes the critic score is 45% but the audience score is 72%.

About the role: Innocent Chep is a young autistic man who works in a prop-house that he also lives in. The warehouse is filled with junk or props, but Chep finds himself right at home among the piles of plastic.

Michael Pitt does a tremendous job with his mannerisms and facial movements, portraying both naivety and nervousness. Every time he falls about from anxiety you’ll want to set him by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate.

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Simply the best: This movie is hard to find. It’s been uploaded on YouTube and there’s a lot of “Out of stock” DVD copies on sites like eBay and FYE, but trying to find it anywhere else is a task only for the persistent.

If truth be told, no matter how cerebral it appears to be, Rhinoceros Eyes is a coming-of-age film. Chep is a boy unable to live in the outside world and through his isolation begins to lose himself in his own imagination. As the film progresses and becomes darker in tone, Chep starts seeing a freaky form of himself made from prop pieces telling him what to do. The alter ego is his own madness haunting him, telling him how to escape from the numb existence he’s put upon himself but someone as innocent as Chep doesn’t understand and his “savior” becomes his tormentor.

His life begins to unravel when he becomes smitten with Fran, a movie production designer who wants everything to be authentic. Her need for every prop to be real is irritating. If she wants real than why is she in the movie business?

Every time Fran smiles at Chep he only falls deeper in love with her, willing to do absolutely anything to make her happy, falling into a hole of obsession and desperation. It’s a weird and creepy story about self-induced isolation paired with humorous characters and great acting.