A drama centered on the relationship between Phil Spector and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden while the music business legend was on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.A drama centered on the relationship between Phil Spector and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden while the music business legend was on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.A drama centered on the relationship between Phil Spector and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden while the music business legend was on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
*** (out of 4)
David Mamet wrote and directed this bio-pic taking a look at the relationship between record producer Phil Spector (Al Pacino) and his defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren). The film starts off with a rather strange "warning" stating that this isn't based on a true story but inspired by the events of the case. I think it's pretty clear that Mamet feels that Spector was innocent in the crime, which he of course is sitting in prison for now. I'm not certain what the point of the movie was but it certainly works in terms of entertainment thanks to two great performances as well as a screenplay full of wonderful dialogue. I think the strongest thing going here are the performances and the screenplay. It should go without saying but both Pacino and Mirren are absolutely flawless in their performance and especially Pacino. If you're familiar with Spector then you know what a weird little man he was and I was really surprised to see how well Pacino pulled off the role. This isn't really a 100% mimic of Spector but instead Pacino really gets inside this guy and you do feel that we're seeing a real character and not just an actor playing a weird man. I found Pacino to be incredibly believable and especially during the scenes where his character goes into some frantic moments due to no one believing him. Mirren, who has to play the role sick, is also extremely good and comes across very strong. Jeffrey Tambor is also a lot of fun in his supporting role. Mamet's screenplay is full of that wonderful dialogue that he's best known for and I thought it really helped bring the lead character to life and help you understand him a bit more. I think those who feel that Spector is guilty are going to be upset with how they show him here but I found it to be quite interesting. The actual events of the case aren't really told in great detail and the courtroom stuff isn't what the movie is about. With that said, I'm really not sure what they were trying to do with the picture other than say Spector was convicted not because he murdered someone but because he's weird.
- Apr 1, 2013