Eighty-three minutes of a one-man stage production adapted into a feature film doesn’t exactly sound like exciting stuff, but when it’s Christopher Plummer playing the late, great John Barrymore in a Tony-winning role? Count us in.
Plummer first played Barrymore 15 years ago at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival with the actor scoring one of his six Tony Awards a year later in the William Luce play. It depicts John Barrymore a few months before his death in 1942 rehearsing a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph as Richard III — a production and plotline that is entirely fictional. The Erik Canuel-scripted and directed film adaptation recently premiered at TIFF and scored at least one devotee in Jeff Wells who predicted that, if the Academy is given access to the film, Plummer should be a nomination shoo-in between this, “Beginners” and his role David Fincher‘s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”
“Plummer isn’t just portraying the late John Barrymore,” Wells said. “…[in] reanimating all the flamboyance and lamentations and exaltations of a once-great actor’s career in his last year of life, he’s also playing, in a sense, himself. There are, after all, certain parallels.”
The film is at TIFF and is coming to theaters soon.