Wilde Salomé review – Pacino proves a self-mocking documentary guide

The documentary accompanying Salomé sets about its task with a recognisably protean energy we might call Pacinoid.

Historical biography is peppered with snapshots of the inherent craziness of simultaneously staging a play, filming the play, and then making a making-of of the filming; dramatisations of Wilde’s final days of freedom, featuring Jack Huston as Bosie and Pacino in a dead-badger wig as Oscar, jostle with literary powwows (Stoppard on Bosie: “He was a shit”) and – Bono warning – the thoughts of Bono.

Too much chaos ultimately prevails, but the rehearsal sequences at least forsake vapid luvvie-isms for close, instructive study of how to pull the best out of actors and text alike. As in 1996’s Looking for Richard, Pacino makes a funny, inquisitive, self-mocking guide, whether dragging camels through the desert or pointing finger guns at Scarface-quoting students: we may now be able to forgive him those godawful broadband adverts.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Mike McCahill, for The Guardian on Thursday 18th September 2014 22.00 Europe/London

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