Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1996. Chal Productions, Jam Productions, Twentieth Century Fox. Narration by Al Pacino, Frederic Kimball, based on the play Richard III by William Shakespeare. Cinematography by Robert Leacock. Produced by Michael Hadge, Al Pacino. Music by Howard Shore. Production Design by Kevin Ritter. Costume Design by Yvonne Blake, Aude Bronson-Howard, Deborah Lynn Scott. Film Editing by William A. Anderson, Ned Bastille, Pasquale Buba, Andre Ross Betz. Independent Spirit Awards 1996. Toronto International Film Festival 1996.
Self-indulgent examination of Shakespeare’s bloodbath tragedy Richard III has Al Pacino directing a semi-documentary of himself preparing for a production of the play, while interviewing some famous Hollywood faces about Shakespeare. It should be interesting and captivating, it should cover a wide variety of subjects and experiences, but really it’s just about watching Pacino show some deeper acting skills than we’ve gotten used to seeing in his last few action movies. Penelope Allen (Pacino’s co-star from Dog Day Afternoon) is the biggest treat the film has to offer, watching her prepare for her role as Queen Elizabeth and then perform it shows her equally fascinating off stage as she is on.