My goodness, what a meaningful little film!
I'd heard good things, and now I see why.
It's not amazing or anything on that order, but rather, just so authentic, vulnerable, and real. No pretenses.
And rather than packing a wallop, it's wholly understated...and THAT is what makes it so powerful.
First of all, WELL DONE, VAL! The ginormous trove of footage he has filmed over four decades is staggering. The boxes are not in some tiny broom closet, they are in a warehouse! I can only imagine how long it took for him to pour through it, choose the most meaningful bits to advance the storyline, then oversee its getting stitched together. Must have been as painstaking as stop-motion moviemaking.
Second, I have so much more appreciation (and respect) for Val Kilmer as a human being. He's wildly imperfect, as we all are, but in the face of so many failures and such deep personal loss, he somehow manages to keep moving forward. That gumption, grit, perseverance, and stick-to-it-iveness is to be admired these days.
I knew he'd sold his 6,000 acres in New Mexico, but now I understand how hard that must have been, why he did so, and how CRUSHED he was when Citizen Twain fell apart due to unforeseeable circumstances. Real leg sweeps. And man, he'd nailed Twain's voice and mannerisms, hadn't he?
I had no idea before this documentary that Val Kilmer had such talent. Real, bona fide acting chops clearly on display in countless home movies filmed throughout his childhood with his brothers. I've mostly thought of Kilmer as Top Gun's arrogant and one-dimensional Iceman and Real Genius's cocky Chris Knight, when in fact he'd entered Juilliard as the youngest student in their history to be accepted into the drama division.
It's a great documentary: simple, brief, under the radar, and equal parts heartrending yet hopeful.
Do make time to see it.