The section Cannes Classics of the Festival de Cannes has a surprise for us again this year with the exclusive tonight before its broadcast on Arte on June 11, the documentary by Mark Kidel, BECOMING CARY GRANT.

Many documentaries have been devoted to the immense hollywood star is Cary Grant , but few have succeeded in painting all the ambiguity that hides the man Archie-Cary. Both say right away : we dreamed of a documentary at the height of the icon that represents Cary Grant, Mark Kidel , has done. Based on his autobiography novel, excerpts of the maintenance (so-called by the actor of ‘Game of Thrones’ Jonathan Pryce), and the exclusive images of his personal films, “BECOMING CARY GRANT attempts a foray into the complex personality and inscrutable as was Cary Grant. For this, it relies in particular on the extraordinary inner journey, which is operated by the actor when, at 50 years of age, in full existential crisis, Cary decides to start a therapy under LSD, under the influence of his third wife, Betsy Drake. It is therefore only from this age that Cary Grant is going to chase some demons of his childhood.

Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.

Born in Bristol in 1904 as Archibald Leach had a childhood to say the least, upset by the sudden disappearance of her mother, interned in a asylum, and that Cary will believe him dead until he discovers 30 years of its existence. It will remain so for more than 20 years in ignorance the most complete, and will will build a character with this passive as an orphan in spite of himself.

The film by Mark Kidel (to whom we owe the portraits of musicians such as Elvis Costello or Ravi Shankar , or the video artist Bill Viola) starts on the tribute from Frank Sinatra to Cary Grant during the presentation of his academy award of honor in 1970, where Sinatra sums up so well the man and the actor by saying : “no one has been more beloved and admired by his fellow actors for his art, his talent, his subtlety, his charm and because he is Cary Grant”. What else, in fact, that this alias to set the will incredible of this actor, from both the public and his peers ? A 14-year-old Cary Grant joined the troupe of acrobats Pender and 18 years when they come to do a tour in New York, he decides to stay alone there. Nothing is waiting now in Bristol. He sang musical comedies and his physique of a young “almost too good” like that. But Cary can’t sing. In 1932, he left New York for Hollywood where he landed a lucrative contract with Paramount. It is at this time that he changed his name and became for all Cary Grant. It is also during this period that he lost his father and that he divorced his first wife, Virgina Cherrill after only seven months of marriage.

This obscure object of desire

Child, his mother loved to dress as a girl. He admits, moreover, that he did not know very well if it was a boy or a girl. He will nurture throughout his life this ambiguity without the work around (to quote Luc Jacquet and his excellent Political players, “Grant agrees, not only the drag but also the double meaning in the gestures of his characters”) both in some of its roles, notably in Howard Hawks who disguises himself as a woman in I was a male war bride and / or bathrobe in The impossible Mr. Baby and his famous “I went gay all of a sudden”, but also in her life as Cary Grant was supposed to be bisexual (even if the film strives to say nothing about this). In the film by Mark Kidel, David Thomson (film historian) confirms : “It appeals as much to women as to men (…) it pushes the boundaries of genre”.

Yet in the eyes of the public, Cary Grant is the womanizer par excellence. Married five times, father at sixty-two years old, he embodies to him all alone the man to the women. Only his last wife, Barbara Jaynes, will remain at his side until his death. He will perform also a good number of the comedies of remarriages (to the sides ofIrene Dunne , among others) that suit like a glove.

Cary Grant has, therefore, become the character he has invented over time, acrobat incessant, juggling between his modest origins and its elegance and natural class. Kidel shows well how the man was caught and will remain secret, refusing interviews and remaining solitary. Nor american, and more truly English, Cary Grant will continue to explore the intricacies of his being and of his childhood, and will include late his relationship to women in the light of the absence of the mother (“LSD has made me realise that I killed my mother through my relationships with women”). Of course the film also sets out to dig the furrow of his personality through his filmography (even if we regret the absence of some of his movies like People will talk to Mankiewicz , in which he played a doctor avant-garde or the very beautiful Indiscreet by Stanley Donen , where he finds Ingrid Bergman twelve years after the Notorious in one of his films that he said prefer).

Some directors like Leo McCarey or Alfred Hitchcock were able to capture its multiple facets, have been able to see in him his side “Archie Leach” (Hitch had humble origins in English also), this side of “democratic” that speaks to all the world as said by David Thomson. Of Suspicion to The death to the kits, Hitchcock better than the other (they made 4 movies together) has used its share of dark and inaccessible, and the fact that you never knew really where to locate it. Whether in comedies, dramas, or adventure movies like the terrific Only angels have wings of Hawks (again), and Cary will remain unfathomable. The Song of the past, melodrama George Stevens remains one of the few movies where he shows himself most vulnerable.

By combining the very beautiful images from personal archives of Cary “filmmaker”, excerpts from his films and some interviews with stakeholders (historians, his last wife, and his daughter Jennifer), BECOMING CARY GRANT is a unique and moving, a real tribute to the man as the actor. Behind “the greatest actor of all time”, the game’s minimalist and instinctive inimitable, also hides a secret man, perpetually anxious and petrified of having to make a speech on stage. The film ends with an audio recording of an interview where Cary Grant tells the story as he liked to go watch the boats on the docks in Bristol when he was a kid. The highlight of the return to the sources. Return to the sea(e).

Anne Laure Farges

Your opinion ?

Original title : “Becoming Cary Grant

Achievement : Mark Kidel

Duration :85mn
Notice to readers 0 reviews

Category: Uncategorized

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top