Old School Ferrell reins it in as Harold Crick, a lonely obsessive/compulsive IRS agent whose mundane existence is transformed when he hears a mysterious voice narrating his life. Turns out the voice belongs to Karen Eiffel (Thompson), a reclusive author who’s writing a novel…with Crick as the main character. As if that weren’t enough, Eiffel has a reputation for killing off her characters! Clever idea takes a long time to unspool. Hoffman’s a professor Crick turns to for help; Gyllenhaal provides some bright spots as a snippy waitress Crick’s auditing; Queen Latifah, as a sort of assistant to Thompson, seems to be in the wrong movie. Onscreen graphics illustrating Crick’s obsessions (counting bathroom tiles, etc.) are by turns interesting and distracting. Extras include deleted scenes, featurettes and funny on-set moments.