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Phil Spector 2013 ***

Only David Mamet would be so deliberately obtuse as to make a feature-length film about a famous trial and halt the action before the trial even starts; the great playwrights focus is on something other than courtroom melodrama in this television drama about the trail of Phil Spector. Played by Al Pacino in a variety of ever-more outrageous wigs, Mamet positions the notorious producer as a man out of time, ranting and raving about the injustices of the music industry while somehow unaware of the bigger picture of his impending conviction for the murder of Lana Clarkson. Pacino is on top form, matched every inch of the way by Helen Mirren as attorney Linda Kenney Baden, who puts aside her own drowsiness with the flu to consider whether Spector has a case to defend. Mamet balances trail by jury with trial by media, and uncovers some outlandish facts, including the reasons for Spector’s bizarre wigs in this wordy by fascinating production.


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