Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom/USA/France/Italy, 1992. Carolco Pictures, Japan Satellite Broadcasting, Canal+, RCS Video. Story by Diana Hawkins, Screenplay by William Boyd, Bryan Forbes, William Goldman, based on the books Chaplin His Life And Art by David Robinson, and My Autobiography by Charles Chaplin. Cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Produced by Richard Attenborough, Mario Kassar. Music by John Barry. Production Design by Stuart Craig. Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick, John Mollo. Film Editing by Anne V. Coates. Academy Awards 1992. Golden Globe Awards 1992.
Richard Attenborough seems to be under the impression that a film about silent-screen giant Charlie Chaplin’s various sex scandals makes for a revealing look into his career. Not so, and in actuality this film reveals less about him than his own work ever did. His inspirations and resources for creative fuel aren’t mined enough in this shallow biography. What it does have going for it, however, is a precise and inspired performance by Robert Downey Jr., who brings to the screen everything that made the legend as loveable, enigmatic and mysterious as he was. The film boasts a giant supporting cast as well, none of whom are used to good enough effect, including Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine portraying her own grandmother.