The professional and personal life of actor and comedian Peter Sellers was a turbulent one. His early movie fame was based primarily on his comic characterizations, often of bumbling and foreign-accented persons, characters which he embodied. As his movie fame rose, he began to lose his own personal identity to his movie characters, leading to self-doubt of himself as a person and a constant need for reassurance and acceptance of his work. This self-doubt manifested itself in fits of anger and what was deemed as arrogance by many. In turn, his personal relationships began to deteriorate as his characterizations were continually used to mask his problems. His first wife, Anne Howe, left/divorced him and his relationships with his parents and children became increasingly distant. His relationship with his second wife, Swedish actress Britt Ekland, was based on this mask. In his later life, he tried to rediscover himself and his career with what would become his penultimate film role, ...Written by
Although the scenes featuring Emilia Fox's performance as Peter Sellers' fourth wife Lynne Frederick were left out of the final cut, Fox is still visible in the background of the scene showing the filming of a scene from Being There (1979). She is the blonde woman standing behind the cameraman and crew behind Peter Sellers (Geoffrey Rush). In a deleted scene on the DVD, there is a continuation of this scene. After the take is over, Lynne tries to talk to Sellers, but he remains in character as the simpleton Chance. See more »
A cinema marquee advertises Ghost in the Noonday Sun despite the fact that this film was shelved until after Sellers' death and never received a theatrical release. Similarly, The Blockhouse didn't have a U.K. theatrical release but is shown playing on a London marquee. See more »
[In character as his father, talking about his childhood]
Pete always got the last cake. Even if it were on someone else's plate.
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The frame freezes and the end credits start. After some informations about the last part of life of Peter Sellers have scrolled up the screen, the credits stop and the camera suddenly pulls back, revealing Geoffrey Rush watching the end titles sitting in front of a monitor on a studio set. He turns toward the camera, waves, gets up, leaves the set and walks to a trailer. The camera tries to follow him inside, but he turns and says "You can't come in here". The door closes, and the camera zooms in on the sign with the name "Peter Sellers". The film again fades to black and we see the rest of the end credits. See more »
I didn't expect this biography to be so interesting but, then, I didn't know a lot about Peter Sellers' private life except for his marriage to Swedish beauty Britt Ekland. One thing that made this more interesting to me was that I grew up in Sellers' era in the '50s through '70s and was familiar with all his films.
Sellers obviously led a strange life or they wouldn't have made a movie about it. I expected what I got: a look at a great film comedian but also a disturbed person underneath the comic image, one that wasn't so funny. Modern films (those since the late '60s) seem to almost sadistically delight in showing a famous person's bad points, more than his or her good. Thus, for many people, this probably wasn't a pleasant film to watch. However, I didn't mind because I found Geoffrey Rush's acting so good, his portrayal of Sellers so credible and fascinating, that I could put up with some of the not-so-much fun to watch scenes. I don't think the latter was overemphasized, anyway.
Watching this film, I thought what a tragic figure was Sellers' mother "Peg," played memorably by Miriam Margolyes. This actress gets almost no billing because she's isn't well- known and that's a pity because she is very good in here. In fact, she's the second "star" of this film. After that comes Charlize Theron as the aforementioned Ekland, Emily Watson as Sellers' first wife "Anne;" John Lithgow as "Blake Edwards," Stanley Tucci as "Stanley Kubrick," and other fine actors.
All the actors were excellent but this is still Rush's film. He dominates almost every scene, reminding me of his first big hit, "Shine."
Overall, this is an interesting biography. Kudos to director Stephen Hopkins for a job well done, too.
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