The true story of a man who posed as director Stanley Kubrick during the production of Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), despite knowing very little about his work and looking nothing like him.
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
Allow me to preface this whole review by saying that the more familiar you are with the works of Stanley Kubrick, the more enjoyable this film will be for you.
If you are only slightly familiar with Kubrick, and are not interested in seeing a John Malkevich playing an impressively nuanced, yet unprogressing character (after seeing, one has to admit it was quite the feat), then your $10 is probably better spent elsewhere. However, if you are like me and get a kick out any work that can thread in a Kubrick allusion without making any excuses, this film might be right up your alley.
Within this film there is no great commentary, no grand message, and no prevailing plot. What it does contain is one compelling character, one twisted journey, and whole host of inside jokes which, if you are in on the bit, make this film worth every penny of the ticket price. A confidence man, Alan (Malkevich), grifts his way through every episode of this linear yet non-Aristelean film by pretending to be the reclusive film director, Stanley Kubrick. Every episode is structured around an allusion (which Alan never seems to get because it appears as though he has never actually seen a Kubrick movie) to one of Kubrick's greatest scenes.
I believe giving too much more else will ruin the ride for those that care to take it. And, oh my, what a weirdly wonderful ride it is.
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