In an exercise of self-mythologising, Hollywood producer Robert Evans tells his own story. It is imaginatively made and more importantly it’s an excellent story. However, if you are looking for how it really happened, then you may be disappointed and frustrated with this film.Producers aren’t usually household names. Indeed some people will wonder what the hell they do. “They’re the money,” as was once explained, but they are a little bit more than that. They can be the champion of a film and depending on the personalities, can have a major influence on the final make-up of a movie.
After being discovered relaxing by a pool, the already millionaire Evans had a mixed in front of the camera career. His experience as an actor gave Evans the ambition to be able to say with authority, “The kid stays in the picture.” That meant becoming a producer.
So not necessarily well known outside of the industry, NYC born, Evans was nevertheless still a legendary name within the industry. He was at his peak in the late 60s early 70s winning an Oscar for The Godfather and a Golden Globe for Chinatown.
Making use of archive footage and photographs is now a well-established method in the documentary film. To freshen up this film, Brett Morgan and Nanette Burstein animate the photographs providing some depth and movement to the visuals. There is also the use of Evans himself as the narrator for the film.
The use of Evans (sampled from an audio book version of his autobiography) iterates that this film is definitely his story. There are no opinions from others to give an alternative explanation. The quote from the beginning of the film concedes this: “There are three sides to every story: My side, your side and the truth. And no-one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently.”There is still an air of mystery around Evans. Even after watching this film - which seems to be a reveal-all type of film - we still do not completely know who this man is.