It seems almost unfair that Tribeca Film Festival has barely started and I’ve already picked my favorite film of the festival. But I’m okay with that. Chiemi Karasawa’s documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, was one of the most phenomenal films I’ve seen in a long time. If you had to ask me who Elaine Stritch was prior to last night, I would have said, she’s that famous broadway actress my mom’s a fan of, that plays Alec Baldwin’s mother on 30 Rock. (Who doesn’t love Colleen?). After watching this film, it’s apparent how overly simplified that answer is of legendary Tony and Emmy Award winning actress and performer. The film documents the last year of Stritch’s life as she takes her show on the road at age of 87, touring with her musical companion of over a decade, Rob Bowman to different cities; charming audiences one forgotten song lyric at a time. As well as looks back at her some of her greatest moments and struggles which piece together the story of who this woman is… (including this winning moment):
This clip in and of itself gives you a glimpse of how brutally honest, hilarious and no-nonsense this woman is. She’s complete balls to the wall living life, and she can pull off brutally honest, like no one I’ve ever seen. And if that isn’t enough, the film opens with her looking straight at the camera telling us: “I’ve got a certain amount of fame. I’ve got money. I wish I could f–kin’ drive, then I’d really be a menace.”
I laughed (a lot), I teared (I’m still unsure if they were tears of joy, beauty, or sadness that the show may not go on). I was overwhelmingly touched, just watching her perform and the impact she makes on her audiences. With those never ending, skinny, skinny legs and great big fur coats, this film, much like it’s subject is a true gem. By the time the film ended, I had such a profound appreciation for the one and only, Elaine Stritch.
Thank you Houri for bringing me!