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157 of 162 people found this helpful
A Definitive and Moving Portrait of a Complex Man
on August 15, 2010
I have seen the final version of this film, having been to a screening at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans.
I am simply blown away by this documentary. I'd been waiting to see it for four years, and I was convinced that because I had such high expectations, that it would disappoint. I am thrilled to say that the film not only met my expectations, but actually exceeded them.
This film is a brutally honest look at the man, Harry Nilsson. It shows how beautifully talented he was, and how everyone around him truly loved him, but it did not shy away from the wild antics that were ultimately Harry's downfall. One interviewee made the statement, "Harry was like a big bunny rabbit with really sharp teeth." I think that the film shows just how appropriate that statement is.
There were times that I laughed out loud and times that I came close to openly sobbing. I have a feeling that if I had not been at a public viewing, I would have been openly sobbing.
The director mentioned that this final version has a different ending than what he originally screened several years ago. I have not seen that first ending, but I can say that if Harry was able to comment on the version I saw, that he would approve. It was funny, sad, and poignant, all rolled into one. I don't think Harry would have wanted it any other way.
This is a vivid portrait of a very complex man. There was the raw talent and potential, the self-destructive behavior, the loving father and husband, the alcoholic, the activist. All of these were Harry Nilsson. Even someone who didn't know of Harry before this film would be moved.
NOTE ADDED ON 10/17/10: I want to try to write quality reviews that are helpful to people. If you find my review to be unhelpful, please leave a comment and let me know how I could improve! Or, even better, if you did find my review helpful, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks.
NOTE ADDED ON 11/17/10:
It was suggested that I add a note about the special features, so here you go:
There is a great extended scene concerning Without You, and another extra that features Remember. There are many more extras that are incredible, and they're pretty much all extended scenes. I'll list their titles for you:
Loneliness - This is a music video that Harry did with Yoko Ono. I believe this is Yoko's song.
A Little Touch
Remember (which is the original ending. The final cut is far superior, I believe, to this original ending).