Looking for Richard (1996)

Genres - Theater, Language & Literature  |   Sub-Genres - Literary Studies, Biography  |   Release Date - Oct 11, 1996 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Al Pacino's intriguing documentary-cum-stage-production-cum-actor's-workshop ultimately works out to be a successful rumination on the enduring presence of Shakespeare and his most produced play, Richard III. The most interesting thing about the movie (other than that the person who seems to understand The Bard best is a blustering homeless man) is the presence and "performance" of Pacino. For a generation that grew up with Pacino's distinctively intense style, this glimpse into the workings of the man and his profession is absorbing. Over an unspecified amount of time, Pacino, along with the impressive cast, discusses and stages certain scenes, struggles to grasp the full meaning of the work, and ultimately tries to put Shakespeare in a modern context. If nothing else, Looking for Richard offers the chance to see how actors relate (or in the case of Winona Ryder, don't relate) to their material. This examination of actors and their roles in a play is reminiscent of 1994's Vanya on 42nd Street, or even the other Louis Malle, Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn production, 1981's My Dinner With Andre.