ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME (director/writer: Chiemi Karasawa; screenwriter: ; cinematographers: Shane Sigler/Joshua Z. Weinstein/Rod Lamborn; editors: Kjerstin Rossi/Pax Wassermann; music: Kristopher Bowers; cast: Elaine Stritch, Alec Baldwin, Rob Bowman, Tina Fey, James Gandolfini, Cherry Jones, Julie Keyes, Nathan Lane, Tracy Morgan, Hal Prince, John Turturro, George C. Wolfe; Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Elizabeth Hemmerdinger/Chiemi Karasawa; IFC Films; 2013)
“Since the brassy Elaine is mostly likable, even if self-absorbed, so is the straight-forward documentary.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Chiemi Karasawa, in her directorial debut, spotlights the incomparable almost 87-year-old legendary Broadway actress and cabaret entertainer Elaine Stritch. We catch her strolling through Central Park, onstage, backstage, preparing for a musical revue, managing her diabetes, rattling on about her alcohol problem, quoting the Bette Davis line “that old age is not for sissies,” and demanding honesty among her showbiz friends. It also contains archival footage from her long showbiz career, that began in 1944 when she left the convent.
Since the brassy Elaine is mostly likable, even if self-absorbed, so is the straight-forward documentary. How could you not love Elaine giving Alex Baldwin the business on the set of 30 Rock?
We also learn that Elaine is moving out of her luxury Carlyle Hotel residence to return to her hometown of Detroit.
The doc might best be enjoyed by her many fans. The casual viewer, who hasn’t closely followed the eccentric actress’s career, might not catch what makes her great onstage in this flippant presentation.
REVIEWED ON 11/19/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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