McKellen: Playing the Part

McKellen: Playing the Part

McKellen: Playing the Part

Documentary on the life and work of Sir Ian McKellen, featuring rare footage of his early work, never-before-seen photos from McKellen's private collection and cinematically reconstructed scenes from his life starring Milo Parker, Luke Evans, Frances Barber, Scott Chambers and more.

2017Rating: M, Coarse language and sexual references91 minsUK
Documentary
Director:
Joe Stephenson ('Chicken')

Streaming (4 Providers)

McKellen: Playing the Part | Reviews

Flicks, Sarah Voon

Flicks, Sarah Voon

A boy who really loved his Mum, Alexander McQueen the progressively fractious designer, and subject of this doco was also a fierce talent with equal tendencies for fun and cruelty. Using recovered archival footage, photos and intensely personal interviews with some of his closest friends and family, director Ian Bonhôte and co-director/writer Peter Ettedgui, eloquently tease out the rocky journey of the school dropout who doodled dresses on his school books, the prophetic early cutting and tailoring apprenticeship at a Savile Row tailor, to the final harrowing chapters of his life.

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Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

From the start, the subject of Joe Stephenson's documentary lays his cards on the table: “It’s very difficult just to be yourself. So I treat it as a piece of acting. Here he comes… What side of Ian McKellen am I going to present?”

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Time Out

Time Out

Director Joe Stephenson paints a beautiful portrait, but the actor’s sensitivity, storytelling and strength of character are captivating enough.

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The Times

The Times

Yet even - perhaps especially - in morbid mood, [Ian McKellen] is never less than beguiling.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

McKellen occasionally slips into the part of twinkly super-cool gay uncle that he tends to play in interviews these days. But mostly he’s thoughtful and self-reflective.

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Stuff

Stuff

Essentially based around a single interview, Playing the Part allows McKellen's avuncular personality, warmth and wicked humour to shine.

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Stuff

Stuff

McKellen: Playing the Part is a celebration of a life particularly well-lived. McKellen emerges as a clear-eyed, impish, utterly professional and pragmatic optimist.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

As the documentary ends with him discussing his funeral plans you appreciate what a treat it is to have the Oscar-award winner telling his own story in his own words.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Structured very simply as an on-camera interview while McKellen reminisces about his life from the comfort of a red library chair, the film exudes a personal warmth springing from the fact that most of it is told in Sir Ian’s own words.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

An absolute treat of an interview with a man who has told other people’s stories wonderfully for decades and tells his own just as well.

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