Documentary - Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

Elaine Stritch was an outstanding, prolific Broadway actress. She also played Alec Baldwin's mother on 30 Rock. Elaine recently died at the age of 89. I just watched the documentary "Shoot Me," and I think you might enjoy it, too.

Here's a trailer for the film. And an interview she did with The New York Times. A few days ago Kirk Douglas, at age 97, wrote a touching piece honoring Elaine in Huffington Post.

The film follows Stritch around for a portion of her 86th year as she prepares for another touring show. She's gritty and honest - compellingly eccentric - never sugar-coating a thing. A few of her quotes from the movie that I loved:

  • "Everybody's got a sack of rocks." (something she grew up hearing her dad say)
  • "I like the courage of age."
  • "I'll probably cry now but that's okay." (after a week-long hospitalization)
  • "There's something exciting about being afraid."
The film focuses little on her childhood or early years. Her impressive career on stage and screen provide a quiet backdrop. But the main thrust of the film is Stritch as an 86-year-old woman. Viewers watch as she strives to make the most of every day, every second - while simultaneously dealing with the challenges of diabetes, aging and alcohol. 

Rob Bowman served as her music director for 14 years. His presence is a constant in the movie. It's clear that Bowman's encouragement and consistency played a significant role in Stritch's life; their relationship is inspiring to see. 

There are several scenes in the film when Stritch speaks candidly about mortality with curlers in her hair and raw vulnerability. There are other scenes that capture her on stage in front of a crowd. She comes completely alive and captivating. I wish I would have had the chance to see her perform. 

The film is currently available on Netflix Instant. It's well-worth a viewing. 

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