Where I Watched It: Netflix
English Audio Description?: Yes
Somehow, the documentary branch did not shortlist this farewell to an artist. Somehow, the documentary branch that believed When We Were Bullies warranted a nomination last year, failed to see any relevance or beauty in a son working to make peace with the inevitability of his father’s passing, while also wanting to participate in a documentary on his final days and musings.
Robert Downey Sr. Is the Sr. Referenced in the title. And for those of you who have no idea who that is, or that he was a filmmaker in his own right, you do realize Robert Downy Jr. Does sugggest that someone came before him? Like, the Jr. In his name confirms the existence of such a person?
I think, aside from watching the family participate in the documentary, the thing that really struck me was seeing Paul Thomas Anderson, and realizing that the way film works often means that the directors of today had mentors of yesteryear. They had icons that helped to shape who they are, filmmakers that inspired them, and for Anderson, Robert Downey Sr. Was one of those men.
If you appreciate film in any way, and love to watch someone’s musings on it in a profound way with such finality, then this documentary is for you. There aren’t nearly as many talking heads in this doc for the audio description to follow, so it is a pretty easy film for the blind community to just allow themselves to be taken over in this truly ultimate father/son story.
Of course, Google would easily inform you that this film has a tragic ending, but isn’t that the point? To film the farewell, one has to part ways. And at least Robert Downey Sr. Left this planet doing the one thing that made him happy. He made a film with his son.
Final Grade: A