Without wishing to oversimplify the documentary genre, a good documentary essentially needs two things to make it a success: an intriguing subject, and flair of execution. If one of these two is severely lacking, then the film falters. American: The Bill Hicks Story is a recent example of a documentary that had the potential to be excellent but wasn't because one element of the two didn't cut it - Hicks and his career are potentially fascinating, but the way the documentary was put together felt awkward and inaccessible. American is also a prime example that succeeding in one of these two factors cannot make up for lacking in the other. The vast majority of viewers would surely agree that Man On Wire has one of these aspects in the bag before you've even begun to watch. The question therefore that must be answered during the film's ninety minutes is this: does director James Marsh have the flair to bring into being a potentially truly brilliant documentary?
7 hours ago