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The Globe and Mail

Norman Lear bio-doc a sentimental take on sitcom legend

Keaton Nigel as "Young Norman" reciting an essay on stage in the film, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.

3 out of 4 stars

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Directed by
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

In a praising, compelling salute that covers the significant career of seventies sitcom supremo Norman Lear, we naturally hear the wistful theme-song longings of his satirically groundbreaking comedy All in the Family – "those were the days." Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady probably took that rose-coloured sentimentality too much to heart when it came to their hyperbolic look at Lear, a no-nonsense nonagenarian who probably would have been fine with less applause from younger pals George Clooney and Amy Poehler and more back-and-forth commentary on the controversy of his series Good Times, a black story told whitely. Still, the film is poetically structured and Lear is a spry, emotionally involved participant in a lively bio-doc that succeeds eulogistically and contextually.

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