Earlier today THR‘s Scott Feinberg wrote that Leo Scott and Ting Poo‘s Val, a portrait of Val Kilmer, was “rapturously received” at the Salle Debussy (and by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Sheri Linden in her review).

Val will be released on Amazon Prime on 8.2.21.

Feinberg: “The film is comprised largely of footage shot by Kilmer, who broke through as a dashing 26-year-old in 1986’s Top Gun, over a span of several decades, intercut with footage of him in the present day as a 61-year-old navigating life with a breathing tube, the result of a tracheostomy that he underwent after receiving radiation to treat throat cancer. Needless to say, the contrast is striking.

“But the doc is not a pity party. In fact, it’s an often funny and brutally honest portrait of an artist — someone who early in his career was labeled a cocky, difficult pretty boy, but who was actually a grief-stricken (his younger brother drowned at 15), ambitious (the youngest student accepted at Juilliard at the time) and committed but frustrated artist (we see him tirelessly rehearsing Shakespeare), and remains one to this day, albeit in artistic endeavors that do not require the use of his voice.”

The Val footage was shot by Kilmer over decades, and the narration, voiced by son Jack Kilmer, was written by the actor. So the voice that narrates the trailer, obviously, is Jack’s. They definitely sound alike, or used to.

True stuff: I went to a party at Kilmer’s Hollywood Hills home sometime in early ’03. (Bill Maher was there also.) I never regarded Kilmer as anything more than just a name-brand actor I’d said hello to once or twice, but he was a friendly host that night. Cool to shoot the shit with. We talked about The Saint.

Three years later I did a fair amount of reporting on an Entertainment Weekly hit piece about the tumultuous shooting of The Island of Dr. Moreau. At one time or another the piece was called “Psycho Kilmer, Qu’est ca c’est?”

In 2011 I was interviewing Judy Greer at a West Hollywood La Pain Quotidien about her award-calibre supporting performance in Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants. Kilmer was there also, and we exchanged curt smiles and waves without speaking. We waved at each other again as he left 15 or 20 minutes later. When it came time to pay the bill for Judy and myself, I was told by the waitress that Kilmer had paid it.