Cast:

Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes

Director:

Jeremy Whelehan

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Running time:

97 mins

Rating:

M

Verdict: Smug and self-congratulatory

Shakespeare for short attention spans, this self-congratulatory "making-of" documentary doesn't oblige the viewer to do anything so tedious as encounter the text. Indeed, as the title implies, it doesn't even take us on stage very much.

Rather, it's a video diary of the final production on the Bridge Project, a translatlantic collaboration between director Sam Mendes and actor Kevin Spacey that takes Richard III to a dozen venues from Greece to China.

What, if anything, the title's "Now" stands for is obscure, though it would be apter to apply the title "Then" to a film about the 2012 peregrinations of a company since dismantled.

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That alone would not have been enough to make the film irrelevantly boring, but its shallowness certainly does.

Edited with the MTV generation in mind, it maintains a dazzling speed, presumably in the hope that we won't notice it has nothing of interest to say. The interviews with the actors - most of whom are young unknowns - may have actually yielded something, but chopped up into soundbites, it disappears. The best character is an hideously xenophobic American actor who rejoices at being back in the US where his iPhone works.

The film, produced by Spacey himself, is cobbled together from interviews snatched on down time and fly-on-the-wall moments that include such elevating lines as "I don't know what to expect of Doha, really" and "[the company] is like a family. I'm so going to miss seeing them all".

But when anyone grapples with genuinely interesting stuff - such as dissecting the famously problematic "Lady Anne" scene in which Richard seduces the widow of a man he has killed as they stand over his warm corpse - the film takes fright and moves on.
What we're left with is platitudes such as Spacey's "our job, at the end of the day, is to bring the writer's work to life".

And Americans discovering that people do things differently elsewhere.


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