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Scene from Robin Williams movie filmed in Magnolia

May 28th, 2009 · 42 Comments

Here is a brush with fame for Magnolia, though you have to look really close to catch it. Last summer there were lots of trucks and and movie equipment in our area for the filming of the movie “World’s Greatest Dad” starring Robin Wiiliams.

Scott Cummins, Magnolia resident and Founder of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, found a clip from the movie with the scene that was shot in Magnolia.  We would not call it obvious as the scene is shot in a car as it drives through a neighborhood.  However, we watched it a number of times and think we recognize the houses from a Magnolia street. 

Take a look here and see what you think.  We should warn you that the clip contains swearing by the characters.

You can see the entire movie June 6 and 7 at the Seattle International Film Festival.  It is playing at the Egyptian.  “World’s Greatest Dad” is a dark comedy starring Williams who plays a divorced, sad-sack high school poetry teacher and failed novelist who dreams of one day being a famous writer. To make matters worse, he must suffer the indignities of living with his thoroughly vile, porn-obsessed teenage son, Kyle. 

The movie was shot in a number of Seattle neighborhoods.  Here is a picture of Williams during the filming in Ballard.


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  • swedewife

    That was definitely Sunset Hill Park in the driving scene. I recognize the white house with the green shutters and then the fencing overlooking the water at the park.

  • Underpants Gnome

    Yes, this is on 34th Ave NW in Sunset Hill. Fun to see the clip, I watched from my window the day they were filming.

  • Ann

    That is our Magnolia!

    This movie got mostly raves at Sundance this year, but it is NOT NOT NOT a family film.

    Every article I read used the word “disturbing” more than once. dark, twisted, and sick also got multiple mentions (these were positive reviews)

    Many reviews spoil the plot in this movie – the one below does not.

    “It would be a massive understatement to say that Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest directorial effort, the disturbingly hilarious World’s Greatest Dad, was one of the really big surprises of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Starring Robin Williams as a poetry teacher (really? No, seriously…really?) and shot mostly flat and clean like a Chris Columbus mainstream family flick, you could be forgiven for thinking that this film is just another disposable bit of commercial pabulum from the star of Mrs. Doubtfire. But you would still be dead wrong. World’s Greatest Dad is the darkest, smartest, funniest and downright most evil comedy to scratch its way to the surface from the blackest recesses of a filmmaker’s imagination in a long time.

    Williams plays Lance Clayton, the father of Kyle (Daryl Sabara of Spy Kids infamy) perhaps the most obnoxious and sleazy teenager to perv and bitch his way across the silver screen. Obsessed with pornography, misogyny and the adorable TILF (Teacher I’d Like to…) that Lance is secretly sorta dating, Kyle is quite handful for Dad to deal with both at home and at school. But when one of Kyle’s sexual experiments goes horribly wrong – or perhaps right – Lance slowly begins to realize that maybe there’s a way to turn this tragedy around. And thus begins an increasingly biting comedic journey that takes it to the hilt and knows exactly when to pull out.

    Goldthwait has expertly crafted a winning film that’s every bit as darkly satirical as Parents or Heathers, but has done so under the radar. There’s nothing obvious in his approach to this material. The sublime way that World’s Greatest Dad unfolds is so natural and unforced that even its most disturbing moments feel perfectly justified and downright entertaining. But do yourself a favor: Don’t read too many reviews or interviews about this film. Try to go in knowing as little as possible before seeing it. If you do, you’ll find yourself delightfully horrified by the surprise twists and turns that Goldthwait has in store.

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