Chris Nashawaty
January 09, 2015 AT 05:00 AM EST

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
94 minutes
performer
Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles
director
Chuck Workman
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B+

Bigger than life in every sense, Orson Welles is someone whose feats and failings can’t be summed up in 94 minutes. Chuck Workman’s biodoc of the Citizen Kane wunderkind-turned-sad-genius-in-exile nearly atones for the sin of brevity with clips of Welles tossing off bons mots on the talk-show circuit, and archival interviews with the late filmmaker’s collaborators that put his one-of-a-kind career in context. It’s a fine introduction, if a bit slight for fans craving new insights. Like Welles’ butchered cut of The Magnificent Ambersons, it’s fascinating but leaves you hungry for more. B+

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