Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

Jared Hess (2004)

89min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Like the central character's bizarre name, there's something self-consciously quirky about this whimsical tale of a super-nerd's small-town life. Apparently set in the present day, but with a distinctive, time-warp look that recalls the style-challenged 1980s, this episodic comedy follows the eponymous Napoleon (Jon Heder), a blank-faced teen with carrot-coloured hair and seriously underdeveloped interpersonal skills, as he tries to help equally nerdish best friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) win the school elections. Heder's performance is entertainingly eccentric, while the supporting characters - a computer-geek older brother and an ageing jock uncle, who's still stuck in 1982, the year his high-school football career was abruptly curtailed - are amusing enough though a tad one-dimensional. Nevertheless, there are some genuine laugh-out-loud moments, an uplifting ending and the limited horizons of young people in small-town America are perceptively conveyed, not least by the impressive Idaho vistas.

Summary

A socially inept high-school student and his lonely unemployed brother find their eccentric home life thrown into upheaval when their meddling uncle comes to stay. The teenage oddball tries to make the best of his changing circumstances, while putting all his skills to the task of helping his new best friend win the class presidency. Comedy, starring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Haylie Duff.

Cast & Crew

Napoleon Dynamite Jon Heder
Pedro Sanchez Efren Ramirez
Summer Wheatly Haylie Duff
Uncle Rico Jon Gries
Kip Dynamite Aaron Ruell
Rex Diedrich Bader
Deb Tina Majorino
Grandma Sandy Martin
Don Trevor Snarr
Director Jared Hess
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UIPAvailable on: video and DVD
Comedy