Wednesday, November 18, 2015

She's The Best Thing In It (2015) DOC NYC 2015

After Mary Louise Wilson won a Tony for Gray Gardens she found herself seemingly unemployable. No one wanted to hire her because they thought the Tony award would increase her salary demands. It wasn’t entirely true, but feeling that she couldn’t even get arrested she took an invitation from Tulane and went down to the school to teach acting. She’s the Best Thing In It is a celebration of Wilson, of acting and a chronicle of her time teaching aspiring actors.

I’m a huge fan of Mary Louise Wilson and I had this film in my pile to watch long before the film showed up on the DOC NYC schedule. I was holding it for a special occasion when I needed a special occasion. The occasion was the appearance at the festival.

To be honest I’m mixed on this film and slightly disappointed. The problem is that the film is really two films stuck together. The two films, one a celebration of Wilson and the other Wilson teaching never really blend together. Each part is fine but they don’t completely click. The sequences with Wilson kibitzing and talking about her life is much more jovial and inviting than the teaching sequences. The teaching sequences, while intriguing, are more the sort of thing that is going to interest someone who is an actor or who is very interested in the craft of acting. Watching them and the interviews with Wilson’s students I kept thinking that the sequences should have been in another film. This should have been another film.

At no point should this film be considered be anything less than very good and entertaining. The trouble is that the two excellent parts of the film when put together don’t make an excellent movie but rather just a good one.

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