One Hour Photo Review

Words by Naomi Jeffreys


Robin Williams stars in a 2002 American pyscological thriller film. Williams is cast again type as a creepy, ‘photo-guy’, Sy, a one hour photo lab who becomes obsessed with a young suburban family. Directed by Mark Romanek (‘Never Let Me Go’). And starring Connie Nielsen (‘Gladiator) and Michael Vartan (‘Alias’).

Romanek presents from the off, a serenely white, toxic world.A suburban world. Which Williams narrates in a monotone flashback. It is full of order, he presents Sal as a sterotypical creep, printing the Yorkin’s family photos with precision and care. Why the Yorkin family keep coming back to Sy, I will never know. Williams screams ‘weirdo’.

Having said that, Williams excels as Sy, as the film develops, Sy’s interest in children progresses and changes. His obsession reaches a terrifying, horrifying climax. He has a quiet longing, a quiet obsession with the Yorkin family which eventually leads to his downfall.

The Yorkin family are the traditional American family, Mom, Dad and Son. Sy longs to be part of their family. In fact, in one daydream sequence Sy imagines himself as ‘Uncle Sy’.

So, Romanek’s ‘One Hour Photo’ is an interesting look in to the pysche of someone who is damaged, it feels like an Independent film, we follow Sy from the beginning, we get in to the head of someone who is obsessed and who doesn’t know how to live normally.

If you’re looking for a film which makes you think, then watch this.


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