Charlie Chaplin is one of the greatest entertainers of all time, if not THE greatest. A visionary and pioneer in the art of motion pictures. Incredibly talented, he not only wrote, directed and starred in his movies, he also composed much of the scores.
This movie details his rise to fame, his trials and tribulations as a star, his inspirations and artistic genius, his relationships and scandals.
A superb telling of his life by Richard Attenborough.
The movie is made, however, by Robert Downey Jr's excellent performance as Chaplin. A great reminder of his acting talent (especially now that he mostly does comic book action-hero roles. Easier money, I guess...).
Great supporting cast: Kevin Kline as Douglas Fairbanks, Geraldine Chaplin (Chaplin's real-life daughter) playing Chaplin's mother (her real-life grandmother), Paul Rhys, John Thaw, Moira Kelly (in two roles), Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Marisa Tomei, Penelope Ann Miller, Diane Lane, James Woods and Milla Jovovich, plus David Duchovny in a minor role.
A must-see, not just because it is a biopic on one of history's greatest geniuses, but also for Robert Downey Jr's performance.
Downey Jnr is supported by a starry cast and the period feel is brilliantly recreated by Attenborough. Top that off with a moving score by John Barry and you have a film I will enjoy returning to again and again.
A perfectly good bio of one of early Hollywood's brightest stars. Downey Jr plays the unique Chaplin using a combination of fine physical performance art, as well as the intelligent, and somewhat flawed side to the great man that is pretty terrific. There's plenty for fans of early cinema to enjoy with fine detail regarding production and even the screenings themselves, which is something actually quite rare to see. Chaplin did lead quite a long and eventful life (a lot of movies, wives and children, claims of being a communist, rise and fall in popularity), and at nearly 2 and a half hours long this still really struggles to fit everything in as his wives come and go scene by scene without really knowing anything much about them. This was always going to be a slightly too ambitious project, and it is flawed, but it's still a very notable attempt to recreate the life of an icon.
(Full review coming soon)
He nailed it!