Review: EVERY ACT OF LIFE Deserves A Standing Ovation


Every Act of Life is an interesting and well-assembled documentary about theatre, creative expression, and the LGBT struggle.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit
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Every Act of Life is a new documentary film by Jeff Kaufman about Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally. The movie follows McNally’s life through his groundbreaking career, quest to find true love, and the struggle he faced for LGBT rights.

Terrence McNally is an undoubtedly interesting man with an admirable career. As such, this film is able to be captivating. McNally’s body of work is impressive, and the movie does justice to it. Even someone who is not familiar with him going in will be able to appreciate him by the end of the film. The movie contains multiple clips and excerpts of McNally’s plays that are read aloud. These are quite entertaining, as the plays themselves are often humorous.

Another significant aspect of the film deals with McNally’s personal life. His story as a member of the LGBT community is important, as he was a groundbreaker in his time. At the time in which he rose to prominence, it was not acceptable to be a homosexual man. Providing further insight is the context in which the movie places his story.

every act of life mcnally

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AIDS significantly affected McNally’s life as he saw many people around him suffering and even dying from the disease. This film is still important today because it has the potential to bring awareness to this affliction that ailes so many people in our society. This movie adequately conveys the emotional impact that AIDS can have on a person and their loved ones.

The film also emphasizes the importance of artistic expression. McNally used theatre as his way of expressing his feelings about his experiences and what was happening in the world. Because of this, we are able to transport ourselves into the time period in which he lived and have at least some semblance of an understanding of what people were feeling at the time.

every act of life stage

The interviews in the documentary are also incredibly insightful. McNally himself is featured quite frequently, but it is perhaps the interviews of the actors that worked with McNally that were most affecting. The interviews with Nathan Lane and F. Murray Abraham prove to be some of the most helpful in terms of information.

Additionally, the film is very well-made. The editing is quite strong. There is a large variety in the styles used by the filmmakers, keeping the movie attractive. The interviews are well-framed and well-shot. The readings of letters were also good, as these supplemented the film’s main content.

Overall, Every Act of Life is a very interesting documentary about a very interesting man. If you are a fan of theatre, this is one you surely won’t want to miss.

Every Act of Life is now available on VOD.


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Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film; however, he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.
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