Monday, October 10, 2005

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS (2004) - Stephen Hopkins

Not technically a Peter Sellers film but certainly an appropriate end to a week of actual Peter Sellers viewing. I don’t really have much good or bad to say about this one. A perfectly passable HBO bio-pic livened up by the motif of Geoffrey Rush as Sellers occasionally appearing as other non-Sellers characters in the film (e.g. Seller’s mom, Stanley Kubrick etc.).
  
Like many bio-pics, I still don’t really feel I have a strong sense of the man in question. But with Sellers, who didn’t seem to have a strong sense of himself and therefore lost himself in a multitude of characters, this may have been the point.
 
Anyway, kudos to Rush as Sellers, John Lithgow as Blake Edwards, and even Charlize Theron as Britt Ekland. Non-kudos to whoever decided on the by-the-numbers, the decades-are-a-changing soundtrack (the director I presume). I think I heard “What’s New Pussycat?” and “It’s Not Unusual” at least eight times a piece. Also, just because it’s the end of the ‘70s and Sellers is making a decision whether or not to “go or stay” in the film industry does not mean you are required by law to use “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by The Clash. Take a cue from your  subject...genius requires being more inventive that that.

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