As Larry Rohter writes: From the very first scene, “I’ll Be Me” signals that it is not going to be a conventional documentary about a celebrity, in this case the country-pop singer and guitarist Glen Campbell.
As Mr. Campbell sits in a darkened room watching home movies of his younger self, he asks his wife, Kim, “Who is that?”
“It’s you, honey,” she replies, “it’s a movie about you.”
This is the opening of a great review of “I’ll Be Me” in The New York Times. Earlier this spring, media had reported that Kim Campbell had put the country music superstar, 78, into an Alzheimer’s “memory care community,” a long-term care and treatment facility near their home in Nashville.
They had learned in 2011 that Campbell had Alzheimer’s, and had embarked on a Goodbye Tour. At the beginning of the tour, he was still playing “fluidly,” but having trouble remembering the lyrics. Ultimately, he was unable to complete the tour, as Alzheimer’s steals even his guitar-playing agility.
The documentary, directed by James Keach, features both the tour and his personal life behind the scenes, as the disease progresses. According to Rohter:
“Bruce Springsteen, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr. [Brad] Paisley and the country singer Kathy Mattea weigh in, talking about family members who suffer from the disease.”
Campbell’s 61st studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, which was recorded after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, has become his best-selling album in 35 years.
On AllMusic.com, reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine says the album is a testament to Julian Raymond’s skills as a producer and Glen Campbell’s as a musician and singer.
To read the full review of the documentary I’ll Be Me, which opened Oct. 24, A Farewell to His Fans and Himself, click here.
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Top photo of daughter Debbie Campbell, left, with Glen. Photo credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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