Matthew Lickona 2:30 p.m., Nov. 18
The Kid Stays in the Picture
- Rated R
Audiovisual aids to the same-named, self-mythologizing autobiography of Hollywood producer Robert Evans (Love Story, The Godfather, Chinatown), a former two-bit actor (Man of a Thousand Faces, The Sun Also Rises, The Fiend Who Walked the West) and former women's sportswear manufacturer (Evan-Picone). It's something of a trade-off: you get bountiful film clips, stills, talk-show appearances, and, not least, all-star excerpts from his Get High on Yourself public-service TV special in penance for cocaine possession. But you also have to put up with his bassy, reverberant, abrasive, monotonous voice as it dispenses His Side of the Story in pseudo-tough, terse, platitudinous prose: "We both came out of the same school of drama. The drama of life." And: "Any man who thinks he can read the mind of a woman is a man who knows nothing." And (inevitably): "You live by the sword, you die by the sword." Besides tough, terse, and platitudinous, he can also be appallingly tacky: his soon-to-be wife (later ex-wife), Ali MacGraw, is christened "Miss Snot-Nose Flower Child." What finally, during the closing credits, tips the balance into the black is Dustin Hoffman's just-for-fun imitation of Evans at the time of Marathon Man -- 1976 -- but also, by a stroke of luck, broadening the imitation to a forecast of what he might be like in twenty-five years (i.e., right about now). If you've stuck it out till then, don't leave your seat too soon. Directed by Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein. 2002.