The Kid Stays in the Picture Film Details
Overview: Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans’s famous 1994 autobiography).
Tagline: The Story Of A Man Who Seduced Hollywood.
Review: I am not a scholar of filmmaking or a Robert Evans superfan. I didn’t know who he was. I do enjoy watching good movies the way some people read good books – critically, thoughtfully, and with appreciation for the work that went into them. When I stumbled upon this movie, I thought I would gain some new fascinating insights into movie-making. Instead, the experience for me was analogous to the following: Imagine you are attending a fancy fundraising dinner full of rich strangers, or a fancy recruiting dinner for a big firm or company where you are interviewing. You are seated at the end of a table next to a man you have never met. Before you can tell him your name or learn his name, and without any further introduction of any sort, he simply begins talking, about himself, at length, without pause. You realize quickly that 1) he assumes you already know exactly who he is; 2) he assumes that you will find his stories absolutely fascinating and that he is bestowing a benevolent gift upon you by sharing these insider anecdotes with you; and 3) he is completely uninterested in the perspective or experiences of anyone else at the table, and has never entertained the thought that they have anything more meaningful to offer than what he is talking about right now. You are cornered. There is no one else near you at the table to talk to. You’re not sure how much longer the event will last. You wonder how long you should let him go on before you just get up and leave. Eventually, the event simply ends, and you exit thinking, “Well it’s unfortunate that the evening didn’t turn out to be more pleasant.” And that’s how this movie proceeds, for over 90 merciless minutes. Robert Evans just keeps talking about himself, while grainy black and white photos flash on the screen. At first, I found it interesting, because this pompous blowhard was at least sharing little-known tidbits about some movies I had seen and enjoyed, and therefore I was learning something. But about a half hour in, that feeling went away, and I began to suspect I was not really learning much of anything. This is because I developed the sinking feeling that my narrator was unreliable. Every story is told solely from Evan’s own perspective, and he features prominently as the most important and intelligent and visionary person in every one of them. It’s not just that every movie he worked on was, dubiously, the Most Important Movie of Its Time. (Really? “Love Story”? Really??) It’s also that, in every story, he is the key person who made a critical decision at some point that forever changed the course of the film’s outcome. He is the one who made a critical casting decision, or convinced the director to make a critical editing decision, that shaped the entire film. He is the one who, in a single conversation, persuaded the star actress to finish the film instead of quitting. He is the one who plucked up a particular script and recognized it as exactly the story that America needed to hear at that time. And on and on it goes. So once I realized I couldn’t trust anything he was saying, I was just waiting to see where it went. But there is nothing to help with the pacing. There is no plot or narrative arc to help you know where in the film you are. It just keeps going until it stops. I thought that a postscript at the end might contain quotes from others in the industry that would either corroborate or undermine Evans’s own account of things, and help it all gel together as a documentary with a point of view or message. But it didn’t. The only thing I learned here is that a guy named Robert Evans produced several movies I’ve seen, some of which I liked, and that man happens to have very, very high self-esteem.
Country: United States
Duration: 93 min
Genre: Documentary, Biography
Also known as: A kölyök képben marad,The Kid Stays in the Picture,To rola dla niego,Ο Μικρός θα Μείνει στην Ταινία,O Show Não Pode Parar,くたばれ！ハリウッド,Grabben som förförde Hollywood,Парень остаётся в картине,O mikros tha meinei stin tainia,Mies joka vietteli Hollywoodin,Bache Dar Film Mimanad,El chico que conquistó Hollywood