American Splendour is a strange filmed based on the comic books of the same name. The story follows an introverted low-life Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti) who writes a comic book based on his life using his sarcastic wit to great success; however it is the way the story is told that makes this film worthwhile.

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A strange mix of fiction and reality the film blurs the lines in many places – at random intervals it cuts to white room interviews with the real Harvey Pekar – and at certain points footage of Pekar from the 80’s is intercut with Paul Giamatti. This is all, I gather done as an embracement of the comic books style of storytelling and works well to turn what is a rather uninteresting story into something very watchable.

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The film is incredibly visual and looks amazing – at one point they even show comparisons between the comic book and the film and it is wonderful to see what a great job has been done in order to match the style. There are also a several set-pieces which stand out including Paul Giamatti’s conversation with several animated versions of himself.


Screen shot 2014-08-24 at 18.35.42American Splendour is an unsual film but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless – it may not be as groundbreaking a comic book adapation as say Sin City or Scott Pilgrim – but it does adopt the style and tone of its original content and creator.


Story – 4/5

Style – 5/5

Technical – 3/5

Enjoyment – 3/5


Total: 15/20 = 7/10