Marina Zenovich‘s Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, which HBO opened in Manhattan and Pasadena last Friday in order to qualify the doc for a Best Feature Documentary Oscar, was reviewed by plenty of people at last January’s Sundance Film Festival, but N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis has taken advantage of last Friday’s very limited, zero-profile opening to formally review it.
The doc “gets at the strong, curiously divisive reactions” that the famed director of The Pianist, Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown “has long inspired, reactions that have as much to do with the disturbing power of his best work as his own history as a victim and a survivor,” she writes. “Mr. Polanski survived the Holocaust and the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, in 1969 by followers of Charles Manson. It was the American legal system that almost did him in.”