Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis (2012)

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He is one of the most controversial filmmakers alive - at once praised by the French as a genius and an auteur, eschewed by American critics who dismiss his comedy as "low-brow," acknowledged by observers for his decades of philanthropic work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and notorious on both sides of the Atlantic for his on-set perfectionism and his insistence on traveling to vast lengths to get scenes, performances and gags right. He's also, unsurprisingly, as complex and multifaceted as anyone in the entertainment industry. But what is the truth about Jerry Lewis, that belies this series of contradictions? In this documentary profile of the entertainer, director Gregg Barson sets out to answer that question via candid interviews with the subject himself, plus insights by contemporaries including Phyllis Diller, Jerry Seinfeld and Billy Crystal.

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Critic Reviews for Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (10)

Whatever Method leaves out, most of what it includes is worth a look.

August 13, 2012 | Full Review…

The old clips are still a hoot, but there's a limit to how much compressed air a viewer can take, listening to a bunch of old men talk about how funny their friend was.

August 13, 2012 | Full Review…

Barson has made a doc too narrow in scope, with about as much substance as a meringue pie in the face.

August 13, 2012
Top Critic

The documentary's camera captures the lensmen from an angle designed to make a tiny swarm of shutterbugs appear like a teeming plague, and you quickly begin to distrust the film's perspective in the most literal sense.

August 13, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The weakness of this documentary is that it doesn't give us Mr. Lewis, warts and all.

August 13, 2012 | Full Review…

Strong too is a desire to praise him by fellow comedians, who may have regarded the making of this film as a chance to pay tribute while the object of their admiration was fully able to appreciate it.

August 13, 2012 | Full Review…

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