The service of photographs in "One Hour Photo" is as fundamental to the premise as the red roses in Sam Mendes' "American Beauty," in which ordinary items that pass though our daily lives without much importance take on an identity of their own when they fall into the hands of someone outside of the norm. In writer/director Mark Romanek's feature film about a reclusive and mysterious anti-hero who works a retail chain's photo processing division like it were a lost art form, seemingly innocent little snapshots of everyday events are rescued from the clutches of passive American photographers and treated like rare precious gems, each signifying a moment in one's life that was crucial enough to garner a camera's focus. Why do people not see the beauty of each and every frame on a negative strip? Why do they place their development in the hands of complete strangers who care nothing about their content? Such questions are the everyday musings of Sy Parrish, a middle-aged nobody whose obsession with the printed images slowly begins to blur the lines separating lucidity from alienation. To him, pictures aren't simply forgotten treasures or abused artifacts, either; in fact, photos themselves become his only link to any feasible reality, even if the reality itself turns out to be somewhat disturbing.