On his birthday, Walter Sparrow, an amiable dog-catcher, takes a call that leaves him dog bit and late to pick up his wife. She's browsed in a bookstore, finding a blood-red-covered novel, a murder mystery with numerology that loops constantly around the number 23. The story captivates Walter: he dreams it, he notices aspects of his life that can be rendered by "23," he searches for the author, he stays in the hotel (in room 23) where events in the novel took place, and he begins to believe it was no novel. His wife and son try to help him, sometimes in sympathy, sometimes to protect him. Slowly, with danger to himself and to his family, he closes in on the truth. Written by
(at around 48 mins) When first seeing the sign for King Edward Hotel, the "O" and "T" lights are out. "O" is number 15, and "T" is 20. 1+5=6 divided by 2 (The number of blacked out letters) equals 3, 3+20=23. However by the end of the movie, the all letters are fully lit. See more »
In real numerology, numbers are added together to form a single digit number that might have significance. The sum should never exceed 9, except for the "master" numbers 11 and 22. This is in accordance to the nine personality types, the nine planets in the solar system, and many other things. For example, Walter's room at the asylum was 318. When calculated in the movie it is suppose to equal 23, 31-8=23. However in real numerology the number would be added as 3+1+8, equaling 12. The sum would then be added again to create a single digit, 1+2 = 3. 3 would be the significant number here, and there are many sources on the Internet or in various numerology books that would define what significance that number would hold for the individual. As another example, the address of the bookstore would have more credibility as their sum does equal 23 (5+9+9=23). But another step would need to be taken to convert the sum into a single digit (2+3 = 5). Finally, birthdays and other notable dates in numerology are always factored with the year. Following the formula of February 3 (2/3 = 23) would be inaccurate. But December 12, 1975 (12/12/1975 = 1+2+1+2+1+9+7+5 = 28 = 2+8 = 10 = 1+0 = 1. Therefore, for a person born on this date, the number 1 should be the most significant. See more »
A week ago, the only thing I thought was out of the ordinary was that it was my birthday.
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I watched this by accident. I was looking for another movie, a comedy about a man who thinks he's a character in a novel (which turns out to be STRANGER THAN FICTION). Comedy, Jim Carrey, I thought this had to be it. I was wrong, and boy, am I glad I goofed.
Carrey plays Walter Sparrow, a fairly ordinary-seeming man, an animal control officer whose wife Aggie (played by Virginia Madsen) happens to buy him what seems to be the only copy of a self-published novel, THE NUMBER 23. But as Walter reads the book, the story of a homicide detective named Fingerling, he finds the character reminding him of himself. As he reads of the character Fingerling's descent into obsession and madness, he becomes increasingly disturbed himself, and goes hunting for the pseudononymous author, determined to find out what it all means. The answer uncovers a dark secret involving a murder committed over a decade ago, and alters the lives of Walter and his family permanently.
I won't say more, it would give away too much, but I found this wonderfully acted, beautifully written, and altogether involving. Carrey excellently plays both Walter Sparrow and Dec. Fingerling (in scenes from the novel shown as Carrey reads it), Madsen shines as loving housewife Aggie and novel character Fabrizia, and the supporting players turn in excellent performances, particularly Lynn Collins as the novel character Suicide Blond. The photography is frequently dark and threatening, which fits the plot, the sets are marvelous, and the climax is perfect.
I hope Carrey does more serious roles. This movie proves he's not just a funny rubber face.
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