Scripted by postmodern prankster Charlie Kaufman, directed by George Clooney and based on trash-TV pioneer Chuck Barris's 1984 "unauthorized autobiography," this poker-faced tall tale is galvanized by Sam Rockwell's no-holds-barred performance. New York City, 1981: Naked, unshaven and mid-nervous breakdown, Barris (Rockwell) is holed up in a rundown hotel room, staving off his inner demons by writing his life story. A showman even in extremis
, he dresses up the straightforward tale of an ambitious small-town hustler who leaves his mark however dubious on the TV landscape with flights of fancy presented as the gospel truth. Barris moves to New Yor...