Directed by John Scheinfeld
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Though conventional in style, this documentary about sweet-voiced singer Harry Nilsson “hits a high note,” said Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. Best known for singing “Everybody’s Talkin’,” the theme from 1969’s Midnight Cowboy, Nilsson was also a prolific songwriter who eschewed commercialism and a troublemaker whose hard-partying ways eventually took their toll. He died at 52, of a heart attack, in 1994. Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) only answers the second part of its title’s question, said Michael Rechtshaffen in The Hollywood Reporter. Writer-director John Scheinfeld “demonstrates a real feel for his subject’s milieu,” using a mix of archival footage, Nilsson’s own audio diary, and interviews with everyone from Ringo Starr to Robin Williams. But even hearing countless anecdotes doesn’t help viewers figure out what really drove this talented eccentric, said Noel Murray in the A.V. Club. Nilsson wasn’t an “easy man to pin down”; still, this film is a “godsend just for bringing together so much rare footage.”
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