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“Beautiful Things Don’t Ask for Attention” — Some Thoughts on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Full disclosure: I haven’t read James Thurber’s 1939 short story by the same title nor have I seen the 1947 movie. While I plan on doing both eventually, this is all about Ben Stiller’s version. I loved it and think it’s something everyone — particularly those of us that are hunkered down at our desks behind computers all day — should go and see. There are spoilers for the whole movie in here, just so you know.

The premise is something we can all relate to, I think, especially those more interested in the world(s) inside of our heads than the real one outside of our window. Walter Mitty processes negatives for the soon-to-be-defunct Life Magazine, assisting world famous photojournalist Sean O’Connell in his documentation of Earth without ever actually leaving the confines of his dank little office. When Sean’s negative for what is going to be the magazine’s final cover is lost, Walter breaks free of his stifling, droning life and tries to hunt it down in Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan, following Sean’s trail and encountering a number of characters and adventures along the way.

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