Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 03:26 pm:
Dee's review of I'll Be Me
It is very clear that Glen wanted to do this documentary, to be himself, declaring “I’ll be me.” He wanted to show what it is like to live with this disease, day in and day out, on and off the stage, performance by performance, with hope that this film will make a difference in bringing attention to find a cure for Alz’s because no one should suffer from this disease. At one point in the film, Glen chokes up with tears when talking “from his heart” about how important the film’s intent and outcome are to him. Viewers will learn why the family extended the tour, see the love Glen received from audiences at concerts, understand how Glen was fairing behind stage and on-stage, see how his symptoms from Alz's worsened during the tour and the effects of Glen's health on his family, and share in Glen’s own realizations of his changing behaviors on and off stage. With Glen and his family’s desire to be transparent about their lives during the last three years, it is very difficult to view this documentary when not-so-good times are shared. The devastating effects of Alz’s on Glen and his family and friends are gut-wrenching to watch.
On the other hand, I found the doc to be an uplifting one because of how Glen’s wife and children support each other and Glen, Glen’s amazing humor shines throughout the film (he is still telling some of his old jokes such as “I was so bright, my daddy called me sun/son”), the love shown between Glen and Kim, the respect that Cal, Shannon and Ashley have for their Dad, other Campbell family members’ love for Glen, and other artists’ meaningful insights about Glen as an inspiration to them in their own careers and how Alz’s has affected their respective families. Glen struggles sometimes on-stage but then pulls off a guitar solo that most (healthy) musicians wouldn't even attempt. In one scene, Glen’s starts a song—and then decides, I’ll sing this one like Elvis would—and suddenly Glen is Elvis, opening his shirt, lowering his voice, and getting into the impersonation that many of us have seen in live and taped concerts. As Kim expressed in the film about why they continued to tour, Glen Campbell is still Glen Campbell; let him live his life and do what he loves as long as he can do so. Glen is not his disease. Bravo.
The world premiere of I’ll Be Me at the Nashville Film Festival was fantastic. It was heartwarming to see Glen’s family members and long-time friends present: Kim, Shannon, Ashley, Cal, Kelli Campbell, Debby Campbell, Julian Raymond, Stan Schneider, Larry Weiss, Carl Jackson, Lonnie Shorr, Jeff Dayton, and many others. It was also wonderful to see long-time fans in attendance. Speaking of fans, in the film's ending credits, fans are thanked “for their love and support over the years”.
--Cowpoke for Dee