For some reason, he's long rubbed me the wrong way, and I'm not sure I could identify where that impression first got started. But tonight I watched "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," and I'm here to tell you that Geoffrey Rush can act.
I knew only the bare outline of Sellers's life story, and was drawn quickly into this movie, which appeared recently on HBO. It was a fairly linear biopic with the exception that, at key moments, they stepped around the fourth wall with the intriguing device of placing Geoffrey Rush into the role of whomever he'd just been interacting with as Peter Sellers. His father, for example, or Stanley Kubrick. Rush then spoke to the audience for a moment, in character as that character but narrating, as though being interviewed for a biography.
There were moments where Rush, who really doesn't look that much like Sellers, was Sellers. He never entirely dissolved into the part, the way Jim Carrey did as Andy in "Man on the Moon," but he certainly captured Sellers for parts of the movie. He even looked like him at times, thanks no doubt in part to great make-up and wardrobe work, but likely also to impressive facial impression talent.
Peter Sellers was apparently not a very nice man, but he certainly was an artist. Rush captured both.