Movie Review: Who Is Harry Nilsson? | Film Reviews | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

Movie Review: Who Is Harry Nilsson? 

Thursday, Sep 16 2010
Comments

WHO IS HARRY NILSSON? With Who Is Harry Nilsson? the "Everybody's Talkin'" singer and John Lennon's self-described favorite "group" gets the full-on rock-doc treatment normally accorded to household gods like the Doors and Lennon himself. John Scheinfeld's film traces a familiar trajectory, moving from its subject's humble beginnings through commercial and artistic success to that inevitable rock-star decline of drugging, boozing and bankruptcy. But as interviewees like Brian Wilson, Robin Williams and Yoko Ono insist, Nilsson did everything a little differently, refusing to cement his fame by subjecting himself to the rigors of touring and, later, galvanized by Lennon's death, shelving his musical career in favor of gun-control activism. If Scheinfeld doesn't share his subject's iconoclastic taste, sticking closely to the archival footage and talking-heads formula, it's the quality of the former (drawing on such newly uncovered sources as Nilsson's oral autobiography) and the sense of personal involvement in the latter that elevates the film above run-of-the-mill rockumentary. The director doesn't bother to interview the experts, only those who knew the man best, a strategy that yields such anguished moments as Nilsson's first son tearfully recalling his one-night reunion with the father who had abandoned him years earlier. (Andrew Schenker) (Sunset 5)

click to enlarge Who Is Harry Nilsson?
  • Who Is Harry Nilsson?

Related Stories

  • Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival

    @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  • Henry Rollins: Fuck Suicide 1090

    Days after Robin Williams died, I kept seeing his face on the Internet. His death seemed to have a momentum of its own. It went from a sad death of a famous person to “a nation mourns” pitch, which I didn’t quite understand. Sites such as Huffington Post swim in...
  • Robin Williams Tribute 3

    In Robin Williams' last great film, 2009's World's Greatest Dad, a black-as-pitch comedy directed by his old friend Bobcat Goldthwait, he played a miserable monster—a teacher who manipulates his son's death for his own popularity. His boy (Daryl Sabara), the school loser, has accidentally strangled himself while masturbating, and Williams...
  • Robin Williams Hanged Himself, Had Bloody Knife at His Side

    Marin County authorities today said actor and comedian Robin Williams had hanged himself overnight, had a bloody pocket knife at his side, and had cuts on his left wrist when he was discovered inside his home yesterday morning. His body was "cool" and rigor mortis was present after a personal...
  • Robbin Williams Dead

    Actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Marin County today, the local sheriff's department announced. Lt. Keith Boyd of the Marin County Sheriff's Department said in a statement that deputies were called to Williams' Tiburon, California home about 11:55 a.m. based on a report of...

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Mon 20
  2. Tue 21
  3. Wed 22
  4. Thu 23
  5. Fri 24
  6. Sat 25
  7. Sun 26

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office Report

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending