Review: ‘Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out’

Marina Zenovich's "Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out" is a largely gratuitous and self-indulgent sequel to the filmmaker's widely seen and justly acclaimed "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired."

The third feature-length docu about Roman Polanski’s legal troubles in almost as many years, Marina Zenovich’s “Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out” is a largely gratuitous and self-indulgent sequel to the filmmaker’s widely seen and justly acclaimed “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.” As part two of Zenovich’s saga opens, her hunch that the first film, which made festival, cable, theatrical, Oscar-campaign and DVD rounds in 2008, might well have helped place Polanski under house arrest appears to flatter her, but not to compel her into a pointed investigation. Limited theatrical play won’t inspire unanimous kudos this time.

To justify her redundant film, Zenovich might have pursued an investigative inquiry into whether one’s life in the spotlight inevitably imitates one’s biography, for example. Instead, belabored evidence suggests the Obama administration played a part in the most recent woes of a man who long ago admitted his unlawful relationship with a 13-year-old girl and has arguably eluded justice for much of the time since. Revelation and intrigue remain at a bare minimum, although, as before, a jolting pop tune by Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner graces the end credits.

Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out

Documentary

Production

A Partout presentation and production, in association with Films Distribution, Chaocorp Distribution, Perfect Weekend, Slated. (International sales: Films Distribution, Paris.) Produced by Lila Yacoub, Marina Zenovich. Executive producers, Steven Soderbergh, Randy Wooten, Michael Roban, Justin Moore-Lewy, Charlie Mason, Kyle Jackson, Alan Pao, Stephan Paternot, Jimmy Balodimas, David Milch, Barry Silbert, Lori Silbert, Zachary Aarons, Jason Hirsch. Co-producers, Sara Hutchison, Michelle Sullivan. Directed by Marina Zenovich. Written by P.G. Morgan, Chris A. Peterson, Zenovich.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Tanja Koop; editors, Peterson, Scott J. Gill; music, Mark degli Antoni; sound, Tyler Bender, Alex Hamm, Daniel Hobi, Ivo Schlapfer, Marco Teufen; supervising sound editor, Michael J. McDonald; re-recording mixer, McDonald. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF Docs), Sept. 7, 2012. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Samantha Geimer, Herve de Luze, Danielle Thompson, Karl Spoerri, Susan Gailey, Herve Temime, Bernard-Henri Levy, Linda Deutsch, Jay Fernandez, Roman Polanski.

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