Being There | Chicago Reader

Being There

Rated PG 130 minutes 1979

Peter Sellers gives one of his finest portrayals as an untutored victim of environmental isolation, living his life entirely within the walls of a Washington house and its garden, with television providing his only link to the outside world. When he's forced outside, this charming vacuum becomes, through a series of well-wrought ironies, the toast of the town. The director, Hal Ashby, has affected a restrained, understated style to match the subtlety and precision of Sellers's performance. No one seems to know what to do with the allegorical undertone of Jerzy Kosinski's script, but as a whole this 1979 film maintains a fine level of wit, sophistication, and insight. With Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, and Richard Dysart.

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