CLIP ONE: 00:00:00 – 00:06:40
CLIP TWO: 00:20:33 – 00:21:46
The life of Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) – a taxman with obsessive compulsive disorder – is turned upside-down when he hears a voice in his head that narrates all aspects of his average and boring exist- ence. As the film develops we discover that the voice in his head is an author (Emma Thompson) with writer’s block who just so happens to be planning on killing off Harold’s character in her latest book.
Following the revelation that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story (and ultimately his life) to convince her to change the ending before it’s too late.
The first clip for this session sets the scene for the film and introduces us to the character of Harold Crick. Through the narration and on-screen graphics we learn that Harold lives a very ordered life consisting of unbreakable routines and actions. Following this routine every day has led to him becoming rather solitary, as he lives alone and doesn’t engage with the outside world.
Harold’s life is turned upside-down, however, when we discover that he can hear the narration of his life. This leads to him becoming confused and trying to investigate the source of the voice. In the second short clip we see Harold at a bus stop. As he waits for the bus, the narrator alerts him to the fact that his recently stopped watch has sparked a series of events that will lead to his impending death.
After showing the clips as a stimulus, break into small discussion groups (you may wish to have a designated discussion leader in each group) and discuss the following questions:
- How would you describe the life of Harold Crick? (Try to think positively and negatively.)
- What would the narrator of your life say about your weekly routines and habits?
- Is it good to know or anticipate a future outcome before it happens? How does that impact on our actions?
- How do you think Harold will respond to the suggestion that his death may be imminent?
Many themes could be explored from this film, from existentialism to prophecy to control versus fate. To explore further, read Jeremiah
29:10-14 together, then return to your smaller groups and discuss the following questions:
- Verse 11 is a popular one for Christians. Does it imply that we have no free will?
- Is it wrong to use verse 11 in other areas of our lives?
- Is this an encouraging verse to hear?
- What are the requirements God has of his people in the passage?
Stranger than Fiction is now available to stream on Netflix.
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