In London in the 1990s, a balding alcoholic with an unsteady American accent introduces himself in pubs and other social settings as Stanley Kubrick. Drinks and meals are suddenly on the house or paid for by an admiring person, usually a man, whose costumes, band, acting abilities or what have you, Stanley finds fascinating. He's actually Alan Conway (1934-1998): we watch him parlay a self-confident manner and a small amount of movie knowledge into a persona whom others immediately hang their dreams on. In exchange, Stanley asks only that they pay the bill. Will he be exposed? Do prosecution and prison await? Or has the National Health something else in mind? Written by
This is an interesting film, if for no other reason for the talent of Malkovich. His performance is a study of excellent acting: He is so good as a reckless alcoholic pulling off acts of incredible chutzpah that the viewer literally cringes and winches in fear of his becoming exposed. Its not long into the movie that I was completely accepting of the lead character's complete asocial pathology. I accepted such for what it was - without any hope of redemption, rehabilitation or remorse! The problem with the film is that since the character soon becomes so one dimensional, the scenes just flow as episode after episode in a manner, way, etc., that makes one long for some personal epiphany, crisis, etc. This flick would have played well as tongue-in-cheek biography with a heavy dose of comedy, much like the films about; e.g., Ed Wood, Larry Flynt, etc. The movie might have been bettor with some modest introduction to the lead character, allowing some empathy.
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