Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (25)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (5)
A deadpan documentary with notes of wistful irony ...
Elstree 1976 isn't an essential movie for anyone but the most obsessive fanboy or girl. It's a film about the strange hand of fate, the wages of dumb luck, and the flipside of fame-life on the D-list.
You're hearing some good stories told from the viewpoints of minor characters. This will hold your attention best if you are a "Star Wars" completist or a super-fan.
The most interesting part of Elstree 1976 comes when these actors express ambivalence about their odd celebrity.
In telling a small story of bit players, the director, Jon Spira, captures a more universal picture of the droplets of fame created by a pop-culture tidal wave.
A sweet, quietly funny, fascinating and contemplative study of 10 character actors and extras, none of whom had any idea back in the 1970s they'd forever be defined by the one or two days they spent on the set of a sci-fi movie.
A crowdfunded effort from director Jon Spira, Elstree 1976 is largely a matter of talking heads, some of whom are more interesting than others.
[Director Jon] Spira has genuinely found something new to say about Star Wars, producing something with value and insight to appeal beyond just the fan faithful.
Spira's take is undeniably affectionate, but offers little insight into the trilogy for Star Wars fans. Yet Elstree 1976 is so inextricably linked to George Lucas' space opera, it's difficult to imagine what the appeal could be ...
Amid some amusing tidbits, most of the anecdotes aren't very compelling or insightful, and there's not much else.
How many movies would inspire a documentary about its bit players, almost 40 years after its initial release? Very few, but "Star Wars" is certainly one of them.
Elstree 1976 is a must-see for Star Wars fanatics, and coming shortly after the much-hyped franchise adrenaline shot that is The Force Awakens, it's almost shocking to hear firsthand accounts of the first film's way-under-the-radar status.
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