Get us in your inbox


  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Christopher Plummer in Barrymore
Christopher Plummer in Barrymore

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Christopher Plummer deservedly won a Tony for portraying the late, great John Barrymore in William Luce’s play on Broadway, and Erik Canuel’s movie captures Plummer’s performance for posterity, as he reprises the role for a Toronto audience. It’s undeniably a delicious turn: one legendary actor playing another while spitting over delicious bons mots. (“He died what New Yorkers call a natural death…he was hit by a taxi.”) But Canuel’s direction mostly extends to making sure the camera is on and pointed at his star; even the Shakespearean bits (Barrymore is prepping a potential comeback involving Richard III) feel unimaginative. This isn’t a film, it’s a recording of canned ham—tasty, certainly, but creaky nonetheless.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

Written by David Fear
You may also like