“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”–The Final Documentation of Her Life

Award-winning and beloved actress Elaine Stritch died last week at the age of 89—soon after the DVD release of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, a highly acclaimed new documentary.

THE FILM: AN OVERVIEW

Scott Foundas, Variety: “‘She’s still here … but not for much longer’ is the subtext…”

The Elaine Stritch trailer reveals a good deal of what she was all about:

MORE ABOUT ELAINE STRITCH

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: “…fully possessed of that odd combination of narcissism and self-doubt that is peculiar to performers. She has reached the age when she refuses to waste her time on fools. (One suspects she may have reached that age by her mid-teens.)”

Rex Reed, New York Observer: “…sharp, funny, brittle, caustic, demanding, exaggerated, critical (especially of herself) and infuriating. She is also elaborately unique and awesomely brilliant.”

HER LOVES

Stephen Holden, New York Times: “She admits that the kind of love an audience gives her is what she needs the most and couldn’t get any other way. She recalls her happy marriage to the actor John Bay, who died of brain cancer in 1982. She loved being married and in love, she says, but never found it again.”

HER ALCOHOLISM

Substance.com: “…(T)he most surprising revelation is that during the filming she began drinking again after 20 years in recovery, about which she was characteristically open. She says that she will allow herself only one cocktail a day (she favors Cosmopolitans.) ‘It relaxes me,’ she says in a moment fraught with quiet desperation.”

HER HEALTH 

Scott Foundas, Variety“There are hospital stays (as her diabetes worsens), followed by more anxiety attacks, and one truly frightening episode — a medical emergency during a visit to the Hamptons — that plays like an outtake from ‘Amour’.”

Stephen Holden, New York Times: “The disparity between the blazing stage performer with the glare of a lion on the prowl and the frail, fearful old woman seen in the hospital after a medical crisis could hardly be greater.”

THE RETIREMENT DECISION

Soon after the film wrapped last year, Stritch headed to Birmingham, Michigan (near her home town of Detroit), to at least “semi”-retire (Vulture.com).

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