Becoming Mike Nichols

2016

Documentary

117
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 327

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 4, 2020

Cast

Mike Nichols as Self
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
660.77 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
72 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.33 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
72 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 8 / 10 / 10

sure it's a feature-length interview with clips... but what an interview!

If you've ever had the chance to hear Mike Nichols speak in interviews or at Q&A's (I was infinitely lucky enough a few years before he passed on to see him at one for Carnal Knowledge), you find one of those filmmakers who is in his way intense about the craft, how to go about working with actors, finding those moments and the feeling that makes things different from anything expected, and yet is genial, funny, and compulsively witty. When he talks about what makes things 'different' for him is finding what *not* to do, which is often far more important for a filmmaker than necessarily going in knowing always 100% what to do, and also the power of the unconscious, what things can come up through chance or moments with actors (how he managed to get those final moments with Hoffman and Ross in the back of the bus in The Graduate is such a story for example). What I liked is that it's not a life-long film-by-film biography, which would have been fine but perhaps a bit much with only Nichols (then it'd become something else like the PBS Woody Allen documentary from 2011). This is more like getting the story right up to the edge and first successes, and then of course we all know what comes after that (of all things I'm reminded of the Off the Wall doc by Spike Lee also from this year). Aspects like seeing how an artist develops as a young man, and how a comedy team finds its niche like the wildly funny Nichols and May did, help to show the progression from one thing to the next. Nichols could do many things, and though he was a creature of process, it's interesting to find out when he worked with Elaine May how little they really wrote stuff down; at a certain point they worked out their improvisations to where they could come up with things on the spot (his anecdote about May coming up with a jingle based on Brothers Karamazov is a hoot). And so by giving us this it's not simply about Virginia Woolf and the Graduate - or, at the least, Douglas McGrath gives us a lot of this all being of a piece for Nichols to grow and become who he was; being an immigrant (escaping just barely from the Nazis) and learning English from New York matinée movies; seeing Brando in Streetcar and being figuratively struck by lightning; directing The Odd Couple's first run (his self-professed highlight of his career); learning about acting by acting and just doing it. It's amazing to think, more after the fact than while watching it, that most of these first accomplishments happened all in his early/mid 30's 50 years ago. You never consider it, and it feels all the more melancholy that he is gone now. But we have those early films, and he made a mark on Broadway and New York theater that will be felt for generations (you tend to forget he directed Spamalot too), and this is a massively entertaining, and endlessly insightful, conversation about how to find onesself in the company of very talented people (and Jack Warner).

Reviewed by rufkdlk 6 / 10 / 10

could watch this over and over

I think the narrator does a good job of staying out of the way and Nichols is obviously entranced by him, it is said Nichols can only direct good material so here, they focus only on his two biggest hits, the Graduate and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not sure why he starts in on the films then suddenly has a flashback to his family coming into Ellis Island, I think maybe he said the word "father" but it didn't seem connected to the discussion. I think they made a serious error not discussing any other works of his, as the only recap is in the credits at the end as a montage. Sad that he's gone and sad for Diane that he's gone. He did great things in life.

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 6 / 10 / 10

Becoming Mike Nichols

This 75 minute insightful look into the early career of Mike Nichols shows his stage work (as an actor and director), and key films that charted his future as a major director in films (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate) is simple in form (he sits on a stage opposite interviewer, director-of-the-theater, Jack O'Brien, overlooking an audience) but offers a chance to hear from a reflective, introspective mind before his unfortunate death in 2014. Talking about Walter Matthau's difficulties with Art Carnie during the stage production of The Odd Couple, his first major stage production of Barefoot in the Park (which opened with a young Robert Redford in one of the ensemble roles), how the casting process and first directing gig come about in Virginia Woolf, and how Nichols was inspired to use Simon and Garfunkel's music for The Graduate all provide some fascinating tidbits (obviously just a small appetizer, but a nutritious one just the same) fans of the director might just find to their liking. It is not a glamorous doc, mind you, but Nichols seems quite comfortable speaking candidly with O'Brien, and the two have an obvious respect for one another that shows.

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