Magical Universe (2014)
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"Magical Universe" is a tender portrait of the artist as a weirdly gifted, wildly prolific and strange man.
While Mr. Workman evidently respects Mr. Carbee's talent, he also frames his movie as a trite narrative about a kind of lovably odd acquaintance who comes out of his shell, without many incisive ideas about shaping or broadening the material.
A whiff of the strange never quite lifts from the real-life story of Al Carbee, a Maine outsider artist who converted his ramshackle home into a cavernous diorama for Barbie dolls.
This story is about tenderness and empathy, including Carbee's for his plastic proxies.
Carbee is such a benign, downright lovable presence, and so obviously tickled by the attention, that the film doesn't seem at all exploitative.
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