Never Apologise review

This is strictly for staunch fans of Malcolm McDowell and Lindsay Anderson, the Brit-legend who directed the former in If…. and O Lucky Man!. Eyes leering, mouth sneering, voice machine-gunning and jokes dive-bombing, McDowell luvvie-powers through a posh/gruff on-stage account of his mentor, hewn from memories and journals. Quaintness creeps in when he recalls asking Fonda, Hopper and Nicholson what they were smoking, although the intrigue amplifies when legends like John Ford, Lillian Gish and Richard Harris enter the picture. Mind you, McD’s power-spiel tends to fudge focus: is this about Anderson, or a self-centred freefall into a time when the star possessed “the nerve of youth”? His account of Anderson’s demise moves, but by then, this arch-raconteur’s bluster may have sand-papered your patience.

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