The Kid Stays in the Picture

If you ever suspected that assholes are running the world, this 2002 documentary adapting producer and former actor Robert Evans’s autobiography, narrated with relish by Evans himself–the cinematic equivalent of a Vanity Fair article, complete with tuxes and swimming pools–offers all the confirmation you’ll ever need. A particularly telling moment occurs when Evans boasts about convincing his pal Henry Kissinger to attend a premiere just before flying to Europe on a diplomatic mission, leading one to speculate whether the world would be different today if Evans had become secretary of state and won the Nobel Peace Prize in the mid-70s and Kissinger had been pegged to play Irving Thalberg and a matador, then star in The Fiend Who Walked the West. Evans is equally proud of having produced Love Story and Chinatown, and his friendship with such comrades in arms as Kissinger and Peter Bart, the current editor of Variety, is further evidence or how wide–or how narrow–his talents are. He’s also not bad at impressions–whether he’s imitating Kissinger or his producer pals. Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein do a swell job of making this self-dramatization entertaining. 93 min.

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