16 October 2002 | drichards
Great performance but confusing
I agree that Garrett's performance was amazing, he captured the essence of Gleason perfectly. My biggest issues with the movie were two:
1. Jumping back in forth in time. I got lost after three different levels of flashbacks in the first 5 minutes. Why?
2. Completely ignored his movie career. The movie jumped from his TV work in the mid-1950's to a TV interview in the 90's (probably supposed to be his "60 Minutes" interview in 1991). Why? I hope CBS is not so crass that they mainly wanted to present him in ways having to do with his appearances on CBS! That would be amazing. His movie career occupied a much larger portion of his life than his TV career. Most of us are familiar with his later silly roles, but he did some great movie roles in the 1960s: "The Hustler" (original), "Soldier in the Rain", "Papa's Delicate Condition", etc. You can check IMDB for yourself. All worth seeing.
On the plus side, the cinematography was excellent, and looked very good in HDTV. If you didn't see it in HD, try to next time.
Also Michael Chieffo gives a pretty convincing portrayal (though perhaps a little restrained) of Art Carney, in the few scenes he appears.
Finally, Garrett goes from young and thin to really quite chubby, in both body and face. Either an excellent job of makeup and costuming, or he gained a heck of a lot of weight for the role, or a little of both? If it was done with appliances, it was the best job I've ever seen. Completely convincing, even viewed in HD.