6. The Script
A clever well crafted narrative piece. Richard Kelly's script is near perfect, structurally synched, dialogue springs to life, delving into characters whilst being hilarious and moving simultaneously. The differing scenes and situations link with ease, the theme of fate acts as deus ex machina throughout, yet doesnt feel overbearing. If there's a better first time screenplay out there written in the past ten years, I want to see it.
7. Grandma Death
With her crazy punk hair cut and her cute little waddle Grandma Death is just another one of the iconic characters in Donnie Darko. Roberta Sparrows just another cog in the fate wheel and one of Kellys many subplots that all connect to create something fantastic, something bigger.
8. Jim Cunninghams Controlling Fear
This satire on motivational speakers and the whole 80s ethos is a great little piece in the film that brings the humour to the table and yet still an uncomfortable side to Patrick Swayzes
performance that will be explored later. The students watch these videos with an ironic hate of the material, it must be a situation Kelly found himself in back at high school, but the satirical statement on 80s America is greatly appreciated.
9. Seth Rogens Film Debut
One of the modern kings of film comedy may have started out on Apatows Freaks & Geeks, but it was Richard Kelly who gave him his movie debut. A pudgy faced, young looking Seth Rogen
plays Ricky Danforth, the bully Seth Devlin's (played by Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald
) right hand man. Its not a major role with any tough acting involved, but the comedy elements are definitely there. Rogen delivers the hilarious line I like your boobs with adolescent awkwardness. Kelly has a keen eye for casting and helped launch the career one of the Apatow clans finest actors who would very soon be pulling in millions per performance.
10. The Swayze, RIP
Richard Kelly accumulated a very unique cast for Donnie Darko, one that included singers, celebs and serious actors, yet the casting of the much loved and likeable Patrick Swayze as a pedophile was always going to be a brave move. In one of Swayzes finest roles he plays Jim Cunningham, a motivational speaker who carries a dark, seedy secret behind that tanned fake facade. Its a ballsy decision which paid off, a fitting tribute to a fine and misunderstood actor.