Picks and Pans Review: The Singing Detective

UPDATED 11/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

Robert Downey Jr., Mel Gibson, Robin Wright Penn, Katie Holmes

[STARS 3]

Lying in a hospital bed, the angry prisoner of a painful skin disease, Dan Dark (Downey) drifts in and out of reality. A writer of pulpy detective novels, he keeps con-fusing his real life and his books, imagining himself the star of Technicolor musical extravaganzas featuring '50s pop standards.

Such is the weird and wonderful world of The Singing Detective, director Keith Gordon's surprisingly successful, if somewhat convoluted, movie version of British writer Dennis Potter's brilliant and heartbreaking 1986 TV series. (The movie is based on a film adaptation Potter wrote before his death in 1994.) Downey, alternately anguished, sarcastic and suave, gives the performance of his career. He touches so many emotional bases, one gets dizzy watching him. A nearly unrecognizable Gibson (who also produced) shows up to great comic effect as a bald, folksy psychiatrist. (R)

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters