A documentary on Val Kilmer offers a self-portrait of the artist who is personal but not quite intimate.
Actor Val Kilmer is not only the subject of "Val ", a documentary directed by Ting Poo and Leo Scott. He also receives film credit, having shot numerous home movies and video diary entries that give the film its visual texture. More of a self portrait than a profile, "Val" recounts story of a Hollywood career with a candor that does not go so far.'to revelation. The tone is personal but not entirely intimate, producing in the viewer a sense of warm and slightly suspicious camaraderie.
Hang out with Kilmer, now at his early 60s , is an interesting and bittersweet experience. In on-camera interviews, he still exudes a movie star charisma, even though his voice isn't what it used to be. Since being treated for throat cancer in 2014, he has been speaking through a tracheostomy tube and his words are spelled out in captions.
What he says in his own hoarse, electronically distorted voice is complemented by a narration - read by his son, Jack - that reflects the ups and downs of a career that has never been quiteto have what he wanted her to be. Kilmer reflects on how the game intersects and blurs the line between reality and illusion, concluding that he has spent most of his life "inside the illusion " ".
A Juilliard graduate with a passionate sense of craftsmanship, he rose to Hollywood in the heyday of the 1980s. His best-known roles are probably still Iceman, the casual, square-jawed heavy in "Top Gun and Batman, whose costume he wore, not very comfortably, between Michael Keaton and George Clooney. When Kilmer visits Comic-Con, autograph seekers want him to sign memorabilia from those movies. But to appreciate the full range of his talent, it is better to learn about " The doors ", "Tombstone and of course " Heat ", in which he holds his own alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
In broad outline, "Val " is a standard biographical documentary, retracing an arc from childhood through struggle, triumph and more We see Kilmer with his parents and brothers, hear about his marriage to British actress Joanne Whalley, and see shenanigans on set and behind the scenes with Sean Penn, Tom Cruise and Marlon Brando.
Conflicts with realizesurs and actors, and Kilmer's tabloid-fueled reputation for "difficulty" are mentioned in passing, but "Val" is neither a first on confessions nor a journalistic investigation. It seems to be born above all from the desire of a celebrity sometimes reluctant and often underestimated artist to be understood. With a mixture of wit, sincerity, self-awareness and narcissism which is both a requirement and a pitfall of his profession, Kilmer manages to explain himself, or at least convince us that we are never really knew him before.
Rated A. Approximate language. Duration: 1 hour 49 minutes. At the movies.