The Cat's Meow

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Year Released: 2001
Rating: 1.0

Is it just me, or is having a character play someone as fascinating as Charlie Chaplin and then turn him into a sex-obsessed, moral-less cad really simplifying a rather complex and interesting man (based on everything I've read about him)? The same goes for the rest of the story, which ends with Joanna Lumley ruminating over how empty and soulless the rich and powerful Hollywood stars can be, as if we couldn't have figured that out already. Bogdanovich's movie doesn't have much heart to it, and everyone's going through the paces – there's a lack of energy, of spontaneity, to really propel things; the performances are hammy and become irritating (especially Jennifer Tilly and Kirsten Dunst). The Chaplin character (played by Eddie Izzard) makes no effort to hide his amorous lusting for Marion Davies from the jealous William Randolph Hearst – considering the old man's almost God-like influence, do you really think he would have risked being so consistently obvious? I believe Chaplin was shrewder than that.