By John Anderson
By Nick Schager
By Anna Dimond
By Chris Klimek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Ciara LaVelle
By Scott Foundas
Technically it is worth noting that Forman's naturalistic touch and Patrizia Von Brandenstein's spot-on production design have lent the movie a surprising sense of authenticity, perhaps even more challenging than their work on Amadeus or Ragtime, as, with Man on the Moon, they are working within the realm of recent memory. The sets in Vegas and Carnegie Hall are appropriately garish and memorable. It's a well-assembled movie. Sadly excluded is Kaufman's film work, but oh well.
The big question is: Does Jim Carrey pull it off? Answer: Yes, he sure does, to the best of his highly evolved ability. And good for him, as the meditation upon Kaufman's giddy, ego-tripping career and demise seems valuable. Back in 1983, for instance, when Kaufman was still alive, that monumentally funky little freak with flair then known as Prince was offered the chance to make his feature film debut in a biopic of the equally flamboyant Little Richard (a project which is finally under way). He turned it down and made his own story, Purple Rain, instead, and it made him a global superstar. But the years have shown that perhaps constantly playing oneself denies an Artist the reflection Carrey is gaining by lending his flesh to a kindred spirit.
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