May 3, 2007

The Kid Stays In The Picture (Morgen & Burstein, 2002)

Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein's dynamic documentary of Hollywood producer Robert Evans is really Robert Evans' documentary of Robert Evans. Evans narrates his life story, reading from his own 1994 autobiography, and the result is an overly stylized, self-indulgent softball piece. Glimpses of the inner-workings of Hollywood are few and far between, and though the film deals with dark periods in Evans' life (a drug scandal, a murder case, thoughts of suicide), it has a tendency to glamorize rather than dissect. We get nothing more than a surface level examination. The overabundance of style serves as an indication of the lack of substance to be found here, although Evans (especially his vocal impersonations of various Hollywood players) is an entertaining, charismatic listen. It is quite disappointing that such a full life has given rise to such a hollow film that is less a documentary and more a pat on the back. IMDb listing.

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