September 09, 2011 3:03pm PT by Scott Feinberg
First Look 'Barrymore,' One-Man Film Starring Christoper Plummer (Exclusive)
For weeks, my sources have told me to keep a close eye on Erik Canuel's Barrymore, a film that would be coming to the Toronto International Film Festival without yet having found a domestic distributor, because it features a performance by veteran thespian Christopher Plummer that is so good that it could feasibly bring the 81-year-old the Oscar that has eluded him for so long if the film is picked up and promoted by a capable distributor. What's so special about the film, which was adapted from a 1996 Broadway production for which Plummer won the Tony for best performance by a leading actor? It's a one-man show -- literally.
For 83 minutes, Plummer is the only actor on the screen, depicting the legendary actor with John Barrymore in the months before his premature death as he tries to rehearse for a Broadway revival of one of his greatest triumphs, but can't seem to get out of his own way. Precious few films have ever been made with just one actor, and only one that I can think of has ever received any sort of awards recognition -- Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975), for which James Whitmore scored a best actor nod for his portrayal of President Harry S. Truman. Could Plummer make it two?
I'll be seeing Barrymore myself for the first time tomorrow at its world premiere, but in the meantime I'm very pleased to be able to share with you -- exclusively -- a clip of it.