Mumford (1999)


Brief summary: One of the best films of the 90s, period. It doesn’t get the credit or respect it deserves.

I just watched this for the 100th time, probably… and I pulled up the Wikipedia entry about it. Ultimately, it said it was a commercial failure, and while it has its moments, it’s “ultimately forgettable.”

I wouldn’t say that at all.

Mumford is, quite simply, two main “characters”— one, the small town of Mumford (possibly set in the Pacific Northwest, Virginia area, or mountainous part of the United States– it’s never clear), and two, the charismatic and very popular psychiatrist, Dr. Mumford of Mumford (Loren Dean).

Sounds confusing? It can be, somewhat…

Dr. Mumford is everyone’s favorite shrink. The small-town of Mumford has its share of very neurotic people, from Sofie (Hope Davis), to billionaire, young entrepreneur Skip Skipperton (Jason Lee), and local pharmacist Henry Follett (Pruitt Taylor Vince), to Nessa Watkins (Zooey Deschanel, in her debut film role). Everyone in town is dealing with his and her own unique (but quite quirky) problem, and Dr. Mumford seems quite apt at “fixing” everyone, by simply being a great listener, and logical advice-giver. But a question arises midway through the film… is he a real shrink? He seems “too good” to be.

Later on in the film, things unfold in ways that the town could never imagine, including a huge secret that Skip Skipperton is reluctant to share… and an undeniable connection between a small handful of the town’s residents.

I would say the movie Mumford is anything but “forgettable.” It’s funny, charming, original, fresh, and endearing. And the acting (and cast) is completely top-notch. Don’t sleep on it. Written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed0SqVbiyBw&w=450]


-Chris Caulder

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1 Comment

  1. Just added this to the new list. I’ve never even heard of it. So many good actors too.

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