The plot of Donnie Darko is somewhat confusing, and much of it deals with paradoxes which are never explicitly explained. As such, multiple interpretations exist.
The film is set in 1988, an election year, in Middlesex, Virginia.
In the middle of the night, on October 2, 1988, Donnie is awakened from his sleep by a strange voice and led out onto a golf course where he converses with a man-size demonic-looking rabbit named Frank who tells him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds.
-Release Date: October 26, 2001
-Genre: Science Fiction/ Psychological Thriller
-Running Time: 1 hrs. 53 min.
-MPAA Rating: R
-Production Budget: $6 million
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2004 The Butterfly Effect
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2002 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
2001 Ghost World
1999 The Virgin Suicides
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1997 The Butcher Boy
1995 The Doom Generation
1995 Welcome to the Dollhouse
1983 I Am the Cheese
2001 — Richard Kelly won with Donnie Darko for "Best Screenplay" at the Catalonian International Film Festival and at the San Diego Film Critics Society. Donnie Darko also won the "Audience Award" for Best Feature at the Sweden Fantastic Film Festival. The film was nominated for "Best Film" at the Catalonian International Film Festival and for the "Grand Jury Prize" at the Sundance Film Festival.
2002 — Donnie Darko won the "Special Award" at the Young Filmmakers Showcase at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. The movie also won the "Silver Scream Award" at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival. Kelly was nominated for "Best First Feature" and "Best First Screenplay" with Donnie Darko, as well as Jake Gyllenhaal being nominated for "Best Male Lead," at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film was also nominated for the "Best Breakthrough Film" at the Online Film Critics Society Awards.
2003 — Jake Gyllenhaal won "Best Actor" and Richard Kelly "Best Original Screenplay" for Donnie Darko at the Chlotrudis Awards, where Kelly was also nominated for "Best Director" and "Best Movie."
Donnie Darko was filmed in 28 days on a budget of US$4.5 million. It almost went straight to home video release but was publicly released by the production company Flower Films.
The film was shot in California. Donnie's high school was portrayed by Loyola High School, a prominent Catholic school in Los Angeles, California. The house where Donnie's family lives is located in Long Beach, California. Donnie awakens in a golf course in Long Beach, California; the hotel where his family lodges is the Burbank, California, Holiday Inn; and the Aero theater where Donnie and Gretchen watch the double feature is a cinema in Santa Monica, California.
-Tagline:. Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions.
-Frank: 28 days... 6 hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end.