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Quincy is refreshingly devoid of talking-head interviews, relying instead on the measured ruminations of the man himself and the extensive archives Jones and Hicks had the difficult job of paring down. The result is a jaunty stroll through the last half-century of music history, and a fitting tribute to a living legend.
The New York Times
The movie alternates between the present, with Mr. Jones on the go, and a retrospective of his life and career, narrated by the man himself. His hardscrabble early years on the South Side of Chicago are scary; his triumphs from the earliest points of his career onward are exhilarating; the racism he is obliged to endure throughout is infuriating.
There’s no sense being modest at this phase in his Oscar-winning/Oscar producing career, but even as he’s feted, from Montreux to Stockholm, New York to Washington, there’s a refreshing lack of pretense to the sharp-dressed octogenarian at the center of all this fuss.
It’s an enjoyable and intermittently revelatory documentary that does a fine job of celebrating its subject’s accomplishments while never quite achieving the degree of intimacy that it strives for and occasionally pretends to achieve.
Los Angeles Times
Even when it’s considering a great man’s flaws, it does so with understanding, taking its cues from Q’s own philosophy: “You only live 26,000 days. I’m going to wear them all out.”
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Tireless, ultra-talented and exceedingly charismatic, he emerges as a survivor in a film that spends too much time on his accolades and not enough on deciphering what makes this treasure of an octogenarian tick.
The documentary connects his present day work ethic to his past, and contrasts yesteryear’s heartbreaks to the large, family-filled parties he still enjoys. Jones did so much more than just unleash some of pop’s most successful records of all time.
Stretching to more than two hours, Quincy stumbles into some pacing problems as it goes, and considering the sheer number of turns the man’s life took, one wonders if a miniseries might have served him better.
The Hollywood Reporter
Quincy is an unapologetically partisan insider's portrait. The material is rich and the cast list starry, but the overall package veers a little too close to gushing vanity project in places.
It’s a victory lap, which will probably be enough for fans content to share Q’s presence and nothing more. But this movie isa cataloguing of a man who lives in three dimensions. In sticking to recitation of well-known historical fact and flattery it has taken the easy way out.
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