TV Review: Becoming Mike Nichols is this year’s second best Mike Nichols doc

Becoming Mike Nichols gets the job done. It finds a spine to Nichols’ directing, and it creates a desire to revisit his entire filmography. The movie itself isn’t much, a hands-off documentary that’s mainly a filmed stage performance, the performance being Nichols’ final interview over two nights and the stage being the site of An Evening With Mike Nichols And Elaine May. The first night is something like a dress rehearsal without an audience, and the second night takes place in a packed house. Whatever the reasons for this arrangement, it produces routinely clumsy editing in the finished film. Nichols’ friend and fellow director Jack O’Brien asks a few guiding questions, but Nichols seems to know where they’re going. He tells all the right stories about how he developed from a drowning improv student to an EGOT winner. He’s funny and candid and generous. Becoming …

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