Thursday, August 16, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011)


This will be a short review. As far as documentary subjects go, the story of a poor black kid from Baltimore getting into puppets and eventually rising to the very pinnacle of the profession seems like as close to a 'can't-miss' as a filmmaker is ever gonna come across. Not to take anything away from the people who made this, though; it's a very enjoyable movie.

It's not a knock against the quality of the film, but I have to admit: the Elmo origin story is probably the least interesting part of Kevin Clash's arc. Obviously, they needed "Elmo" in the title to sell this thing, but it's definitely not a story about someone's quest to create a singular, insanely marketable character. That it's so interesting in spite of this anticlimax is a testament to Clash and how his personal development was depicted by the filmmakers.

UPDATE (2/16/13): Listen I'm not changing my score but I thought I should do something of a postscript here given the recent scandal. I'm not sure if he seems a tad creepy in hindsight or if I felt that way (a little) initially, but that's where we're at. Nothing's sacred, etc.

SCORE: 8 out of 10



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