Magnificent portrait of Richard Wayne Penniman, aka Little Richard. This is a film that covers Richard's entire life and being with an openness and honesty that I've never seen before.
I have seen a lot of biographies of Little Richard over the years but this is the first one to seemingly tell it all. Nothing is left out to the point that more than once I was murmuring that I didn't know that to no one in particular.
Yes we get the music. Yes we get to see him perform and be the wonderful entertainer. I love that we get some amazing talking heads to explain how Richard changed the universe for the better, but there is so much more here that it kind of boggles the mind.
I love that we get a sense of the man beyond the performer. Yes Richard was always open, but there is something about the way director Lisa Cortes brings it all together that we feel like we are touching the man inside the persona. In all the years I've watched interviews or read on Little Richard there was always a sense of a wall between us. Richard was himself some where beyond us. That isn't the case here. Richard is sitting with us, across the table at a diner telling us his story and we are so much better for it. The shields are down so I was deeply moved when late in the film Richard talked about wanting to find love. Yes he knew he was loved but there was a special kind of love he wanted that he never found..
I wanted to give him a huge hug.
Biographical documentaries do not get better than this.
Absolutely one of the best films of 2023 - you must see this film.
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