Paul Williams Still Alive (2012)
Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 704
He won Grammys and an Academy Award; wrote many #1 songs; starred in a Brian DePalma movie; put out his own hit records and albums; was a guest on The Tonight Show fifty times; and is the president of ASCAP...and you might not have heard of him. In the 1970's, Paul Williams was the singer / actor / songwriter that emotional, alienated teenage boys all over the world wanted to be, a sex symbol before MTV, when sex symbols could be 5"2 and sing songs about loneliness with the Muppets. A wistful
Jun 8, 2012 Limited
Feb 4, 2013
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The insightful, rueful, intensely self-critical and self-aware Williams delivers a harsh look at his own accomplishments, as well as at Kessler's process.
What makes Paul Williams Still Alive successful is the relationship between Kessler and Williams.
For all of Kessler's annoying traits, he did get results. Perhaps a different approach wouldn't have yielded a film as satisfying as "Paul Williams Still Alive."
The resulting documentary, at once endearing and dull, does indeed tell us about Williams, but it also tells us perhaps too much about Kessler.
Filmmaker Stephen Kessler's sheer delight in following around his boyhood idol, whose music framed much of the '70s when Kessler was a lad in Queens, is thoroughly infectious.
An entertaining, emotionally inspired stroll down memory lane -- that is, for Kessler.
Always intriguing and often quite funny, Paul Williams Still Alive is exactly the documentary this celebrity deserves. It's respectful of his extraordinary accomplishments while giving us an accurate portrait of who Williams is today.
Almost in spite of itself, this unfocused documentary accomplishes its main goal.
That's what makes the film so endearing - it captures that strange relationship between film subject and filmmaker, something that is carefully hidden in most documentaries.
Too bad the film's obscure star will be a hard sell to non-music geeks or anyone born after 1965, because this film's a blast.
Charming, poignant and very funny, Paul Williams: Still Alive is a wonderful testament to a truly gifted artist for whom the end of fame was not remotely the end for him.
It's an interesting look at celebrities and the filmmakers that try to document them.
Short and snappy, Paul Williams: Still Alive adroitly juxtaposes an archaic form of fame with one of its practitioners' present-day survival.
Even with flaws, Kessler does manage to paint a portrait of a talented guy who seems to be a lot happier with his life now having finally found himself.
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