Looking for Richard


Documentary / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright79%
IMDb Rating7.3108354

performance art

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Winona Ryder Photo
Winona Ryder as Self / Lady Anne
Al Pacino Photo
Al Pacino as Self / Richard III
Kenneth Branagh Photo
Kenneth Branagh as Self - Interviewee
Kevin Spacey Photo
Kevin Spacey as Self / Earl of Buckingham
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S ...
1.86 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SKG-210 / 10

A celebration of art

From other comments I've read on this movie, one might get the impression that the primary purpose of this documentary is to explain Shakespeare and Richard III. To me, this makes it seem like the documentary falls into the same trap Shakespeare tends to fall into in our culture, that of being medicinal; it tastes bad, but it's good for you. While the movie does give you an insight into Shakespeare and Richard III, that is not its primary value. Like the recent SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, this is a celebration of Shakespeare's art, his wordplay, and his drama, communicated to us here by Pacino, who is a big Shakespeare fan. It also shows how his plays connect with us and with our culture(as one critic said, playing Michael Corleone is a nice preparation for Richard III). The cast pulls the play off with aplomb, and the interviewees make their points without becoming dry, didactic, or condescending. But it's Pacino's show, and he shows not only his great acting talent, but why he's also a great director. And again, this invites us into a celebration of art, rather than repels us by being a lesson.

Reviewed by jboothmillard7 / 10

Looking for Richard

This documentary mixed with great Shakespearean film-making is a good example of an actor directing his own film, especially a documentary. Basically Al Pacino (acting, directing, writing and producing) is attempting to turn William Shakespeare's Richard III into a film, and along the way there are moments and rehearsals from what will be the film, and interviews from experts and people that have used the work of Shakespeare, oh, and a few people on the street. People who appear in the film acting and interviewed include Pacino (also as Richard III),Penelope Allen (also as Queen Elizabeth),Gordon MacDonald (also as Dorset),Madison Arnold (also as Rivers),Vincent Angell (also as Grey),Bean's Harris Yulin (also as King Edward),Alec Baldwin (also as Duke of Clarence),Timmy Prairie as Prince Edward, Landon Prairie as Young Prince, Kevin Conway (also as Hastings),Larry Bryggman (also as Lord Stanley),Kevin Spacey (also as Earl of Buckingham),Winona Ryder as Lady Anne, Aidan Quinn as Richmond, F. Murray Abraham, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Kline, James Earl Jones, Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud and Vanessa Redgrave. A great look at both a genius of the stage and writing, but also a great look of what film-making involves. Very good!

Reviewed by rmax3048236 / 10

Interesting and amusing documentary.

Nobody's really sure if Richard III was the scuzzbag that Shakespeare painted him as, but he really goes to town in the play, cackling over his own villainy, rejoicing in turning our everyday morality upside down.

This documentary, directed by Al Pacino, cuts back and forth between actual scenes enacted from the play and real-time contemporary scenes in which the actors and others wrestle with the play's meanings and execution.

And what a cast of characters. Yulin, Pacino, Spacey, Irons, Ryder, Parsons, Baldwin, Redgrave, Branagh, Gielgud, inter alia. All the principal actors are American, which brings up the question of accent. Mostly we're used to hearing Shakespeare done by English actors -- Gielgud, Olivier, Maurice Evans. Well, let's say, "British" actors. The Americans in this production don't come off too badly. Every male principal has played a modern criminal, either on the wide screen or on TV, but they adapt rather well to their roles, as they should, being actors. Even the performers with New York accents either manage to disguise them or use them effectively. Pacino, for instance, does Richard in a precise, hoarse whisper, which is okay. British and New York accents have lost the medial "r". In both New York and England, "garden" is pronounced "gah-den."

The plot -- I usually get lost somewhere along the line, although the play is Shakespeare's second shortest I think, next to MacBeth. Basically, Shakespeare has Richard exploit, murder, and betray everyone who stands in his way during his climb to the throne. It's full of well-worn lines. "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

And both the play and the documentary are pretty funny. It's the end of the War of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York. In his opening soliloquy Richard is shambling around, a rude lump of foul deformity, and comes up with, "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York." The sun turns winter into summer. But "York" is also one of the families involved in the conflict and it has just been settled by the Duke, a member of the house of York. "Sun" = "son." Get it? It's called a "pun." And now you know why a pun is the lowest form of humor. The play's full of witticisms, most of them better than that, despite being imposed, as they are, on some pretty grisly proceedings. Richard is one of those heavies that's so outrageous that he's engaging, a shameless moral idiot, like Vincent Price in "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" or "Theater of Blood." Hitchcock might have rooted for him.

The documentary is funny too. Pacino and Freddy are having an argument about how the "experts" should be shown during their interviews for the film. Fred feels that the actors know more than guys with PhDs, so the experts should not be shown talking directly into the camera. Cut to an "expert" being interviewed. He looks into the camera and says, "Why does Lady Anne walk out on the street and meet Richard at that particular moment?

And he answers himself: "I -- well -- I don't know."

Al and Fred visit WS's house in Stratford and enter his bedroom. We get a shot of the not-especially-comfortable-looking bed that WS was supposedly born in. "THIS is the BED?" asks Freddy. "I was expecting something more. I wanted an epiphany when I walked through the door, and I expected to brim over with inspiration." Pacino: "Why don't you go back out, then walk through the door again?"

The documentary also gives us an amusing party at which the intellectualizing guests are made fun of. The well-bred women carry on about the Jungian implications of the play or something -- one mentions "the yin and the yang of it". Pacino leans over to Fred and whispers, "Fred, you gotta get me outta this. It's gone too far." (The only significance the actors seem to find in the play is strictly political.)

Yeah, I can see a cast like this pulling the play off.

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