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Barrymore (2011)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 212 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 7 user | 14 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

As John Barrymore reckons with the ravages of his life of excess, he rents an old theatre to rehearse for a backer's audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III.

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As John Barrymore reckons with the ravages of his life of excess, he rents an old theatre to rehearse for a backer's audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III.

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25 August 2012 (Australia)  »

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CAD 3,000,000 (estimated)
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Christopher Plummer is brilliant
9 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Christopher Plummer is "Barrymore" in this 2014 filming of the two-person play by William Luce, which was first performed by Plummer in 1996.

In the play, Barrymore has rented a theater in order to rehearse for a backers audition of a Richard III revival. The play had been one of his great triumphs in the theater. He can't remember his lines and is drunk, so he needs the rehearsal. Offstage is a prompter, Frank (John Plumpis) who feeds him lines and puts up with the erratic actor throughout.

During rehearsal, Barrymore confronts his growing up, his marriages, his brother and sister, his friends, his successes and his failures, every once in a while coming out with something that's actually from Richard III, with some other Shakespeare thrown in.

Christopher Plummer is phenomenal. He sounds just like Barrymore, and he is superb at bringing out the humor and pathos of the script, as well as reciting some of the beautiful Shakespearian speeches.

I realize some people didn't care for this, and probably seeing this on stage is a different experience. One poster mentioned that this is "dated material and a subject long forgotten." The name Barrymore is not forgotten, and there's nothing dated about Shakespeare. John Barrymore was a fascinating person, an important part of theater, and a presence in films. And Christopher Plummer is a treasure.


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