Being There Reviews
Satire is a threatened species in American film, and when it does occur, it's usually broad and slapstick, as in the Mel Brooks films. Being There, directed by Hal Ashby, is a rare and subtle bird that finds its tone and stays with it.
No one seems to know what to do with the allegorical undertone of Jerzy Kosinski's script, but as a whole this 1979 film maintains a fine level of wit, sophistication, and insight.
Whether Being There is an indictment of our narrow view of the world, a celebration of empty-headedness or all of the above, "Life is a state of mind," and Ashby's film is a gift to treasure. [Blu-ray]
Peter Sellers' peculiar talents are ideally suited to the role of the idiot savant, and despite the Oscar going to co-star Douglas, his is the standout performance of a fascinating, funny film.
Jerzy Kosinski's modern fable gets a terrific translation to the screen due to his tight screenplay, capable direction by Ashby, and a marvelous performance by Sellers, one unlike any other in his career.