McKellen: Playing the Part (2017)

TV-PG   |    |  Documentary, Biography


McKellen: Playing the Part (2017) Poster

Feature documentary on the life and work of Sir Ian McKellen.


7.4/10
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14 June 2019 | larrys3
8
| Dedication & Honesty
This documentary, directed by Joe Stephenson, centers on the life and career of the acclaimed British actor Sir Ian McKellen. Much of the film is McKellen sitting and being interviewed and describing in his own words the path of his fascinating life, enhanced, of course, by recreations, vintage film clips, and photos.

Those 2 words, dedication and honesty, help describe some of McKellen's persona. I say dedication because, in the movie, McKellen states that he feels he must, as he appears on stage, be in the best physical and mental shape for that night, so that an audience member who has spent all day working can get the best performance possible. Re honesty, McKellen came across to me as just that speaking from the gut as to how he viewed the people and events in his life.

Early on he realized he was gay, and when he attended Cambridge, on a partial drama scholarship, he began to meet other gay men and also began to have relationships. At 49 years of age, McKellen, as AIDS reared its ugly head across the world, "came out" and became an activist for gay rights, speaking out and raising money as well.

Overall, I found this documentary engrossing as McKellen spun his life story and can easily recommend it.

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Documentary | Biography

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