Grant Bowler scored an “A” for his portrayal as Richard Burton in Lifetime’s biographical television premier “Liz & Dick”. Bowler’s ability to mirror the unique body science of Burton was nothing short of amazing. Lindsay Lohan, on the other hand, was able to capture the much more subdued and less studied, off-stage character of Elizabeth Taylor.
It is difficult to measure the complete quality of this film because of the massive amount of commercial breaks that took the audience from a thick scene of attempted suicide, to an advertisement about macaroni and cheese. All totaled, for every 5-minutes of film action, the audience had to endure a commercial break of at least 10, 15-second commercials.
All things considered, from a velocity standpoint, the movie clipped along at a nice pace, with each scene capturing the interest of the audience. Location, set design, and wardrobe, appeared flawless, with no apparent acting blunder. Keep in mind that Taylor, herself, had a history of looking over-used, off set.
Elizabeth Taylor was, in fact, an extremely difficult character to play, probably much more than Richard Burton. She often appeared as a very boring person, rarely rich in sex-appeal off stage, with a personality to match. However, under the lights and camera, especially during her portrayal as Maggie, opposite Paul Newman (Brick), in the Pulitzer Prize winning, 1955, drama of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, Taylor completely earned the title as the “most beautiful women in the world”.
One must keep in mind that “Liz & Dick” was about two, self satisfying, inebriated, classic movie stars, who shared a record of over indulgence, selfish guilt and pain. Further the ability of Lohan to capture the essence of this off-stage, bi-polar mess, was nothing short of amazing.
From a visual stand point, Lohan fit the part of Taylor beautifully, playing the life of women who depended completely upon her genetics and youth. Lohan’s smoker’s voice and physically exhausted exterior, seemed to match with Taylor, who probably was never enrolled in anything that resembled a Zumba class.
One might ask how this film might have been received, if it were not accompanied by Lindsey Lohan’s “bank of bad habits”; or Lifetime’s over commercialized television format. One thing is for sure, Elizabeth Taylor was just as wild as Lindsay Lohan, and probably as uninteresting off-stage then, except for the fact that there was no Twitter or Facebook back then.