Thursday, October 15, 2009

CHAPLIN (1992)

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr.
Director: Richard Attenborough

Reverent, lovingly detailed bio of Charlie Chaplin--from his squalid childhood in London to early moviemaking days with Mack Sennett, to international stardom, celebrity, and scandal. Downey is astonishingly good as Charlie and the film starts out great, but flattens midway through and tries to cover too much ground. Geraldine Chaplin plays her own grandmother, Charlie's severely neurotic mom.

Well-intentioned and often well-acted biopic. Unfortunately, director Richard Attenborough takes almost a scandal-sheet approach, forgetting what made Chaplin so important was the movies he made. worth seeing for Downey and equally impressive turns by Kevin Kline (as Douglas Fairbanks Sr.) and Geraldine Chaplin. (144 mins.)

My Rating: ***

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