Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Director: John Krasinski
Screenwriters: John Krasinski

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


John Krasinski, best known for playing the charming everyman, Jim Halpert, on The Office, may seem an unlikely candidate to adapt and direct the late David Foster Wallace's caustic exploration of the hideous nature of men. However, he proves himself up to the challenge and delivers a provocative and darkly comedic film.

When her boyfriend leaves her with little explanation, Sara Quinn is left looking for answers. A doctoral candidate in anthropology at a prestigious East Coast university, she thinks she can remedy both her heartache and her academic challenges with a new research project and begins conducting a series of interviews with men. As she records the astonishing and disquieting experiences of various subjects, Sara discovers much more about men—and herself—than she bargained for.

The subject matter of the stories ranges from the bizarre to the banal, but they are always infused with biting humor and extraordinary details. What is most alarming is the realization that the stories aren't extreme but all too common. Julianne Nicholson delivers a subtly nuanced performance as the recording object, both literally and figuratively, of the men's revelations and desires. Motivated by all the right reasons, Krasinski's reverence and passion for the book resounds as he crafts a film that is sure to inspire heated conversations. He also displays his deft ability in front of—and behind—the camera.

based on the book by David Foster Wallace

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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