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VIFF movie review: A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman

An image from A Liar's Autobiography - The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman.

2 out of 4 stars

Title
A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman
Directed by
Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson, Ben Timlett
Starring
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland, Philip Bulcock
Genre
Animation
Country
UK
Language
English
Year
2012

Only competently animated, and in utterly unnecessary 3-D, this semi-facetious biography of Graham Chapman – Python's leading man in Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail – is based partly on his 1980 comedic memoir. Though the surviving Python cast provided much of the voice work, the script is more mildly droll than knee-slapping as it traces the hopscotch history of the tall, pipe-smoking Mr. Chapman through Cambridge medical school, his gradual realization he is gay and his struggles with alcoholism and fame before succumbing to cancer in 1989. The film only really comes alive when it switches to live action in scattered archival snippets, most memorably in John Cleese's appropriately outrageous eulogy.

Oct. 6, 4:15 p.m., Park; Oct. 11, 9:15 p.m., Park

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