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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sr. 2022 * * * Stars


A lot of people know who Robert Downey Jr. is. Okay the whole world knows who he is. Bob is a movie star from those Marvel endeavors. The dude once commanded $75 million for one flick (remember Avengers: Endgame?). 

Sr. (my latest review) is not about Robert Downey Jr. I mean it kind of is but that's a moot point. It's mainly about his father Robert Downey Sr. Sr. is a guy who was not as much in the limelight, making low budget, independent films and appearing as an actor in stuff like Boogie Nights and/or To Live and Die in L.A. 

I've never seen a Robert Downey Sr.-directed pic but Sr. provides plenty of archive footage from his stuff via the late 60s and early 70s. Said archive footage counteracts with recent interviews that counteract with random scenes that are sort of playful cuts of the late subject (Sr. of course). It's like a movie within a movie within a documentary, shot in black & white while harboring a somber and evocative tone. 

Sr. is a docu that is told chronologically but feels non-linear at the same time. It's not perfect but there's a certain earthiness to it. I mean it feels more personal that most (of any type). You see Robert Downey Jr. in a way you've never seen him before (it's like he's a regular Joe). You also get to know his dad and what an out of the box filmmaker he was, all satiric and radical and whatnot. I've always thought of their relationship as opposite sides of the pickle. Jr. is well, blockbuster and his pops sort of a hidden, Woody Allen type. 

What's heartbreaking is that Sr. ends up following the last years of Robert Downey Sr.'s life. It was filmed over a period of three showing the gradual decline of Sr.'s health due to Parkinson's disease. Thankfully through Sr. we get to know this man and his visionary turns that stayed under the radar to most Hollywood annals. Senior day!

Written by Jesse Burleson

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