This is a wonderful treat for Paul Williams fans (of which I am one), and it's also a semi-serious portrait of recovery and survival from 1970's celebrity and the excesses that often came with that lifestyle.
My only problem with this film is that the director, Stephen Kessler, a self-professed fan, is a presence in the film the same way Michael Moore often is in his movies. Kessler is likable and it's apparent that the film probably couldn't have been presented without some insight as to how and why he made it (no way he could have been invisible). And some of the film's funniest moments stem from the awkward and sometimes intrusive presence of Kessler and his crew.
But I would have liked a better sense of Kessler as an individual and a passionate fan rather than a challenged documentarian (he's a constant presence but we don't get to know him well enough). His approach also left me wanting a more linear treatment, like that of an A&E Biography; Williams' output was so extensive that much of his career retrospective here seems rushed. Kessler includes a lot of awkward cinema-verite moments, many of which are entertaining, but for me there's not enough coverage of Williams' acting, writing and recording work and I would have liked more focus on that.
Still, I'm grateful that he made the film, and that Mr. Williams was a (sometimes) willing subject.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this