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  • Summary: British actor and writer Stephen Fry embarks upon a journey to explore his fascination for Wagner and confront his troubled legacy. Can he disentangle the music he loves from its poisonous links with Hitler? His journey plays out against the backdrop of preparations for the Bayreuth Festival - the annual Wagner extravaganza held in a theatre purpose-built by the composer. Collapse
  • Director: Patrick McGrady
  • Genre(s): Biography, History, Music, Documentary
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Runtime: 89 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 7, 2012
    80
    Somehow, without soft-pedaling the nastier angles of Wagner's life and legacy, Wagner & Me lands on the side of joy and defiance - broadly speaking, Fry decides not to let the terrorists win.
  2. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Dec 7, 2012
    75
    In addition to the magnificent music, the movie takes its rumpled charm from Fry's unfeigned fanboy manner.
  3. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Dec 4, 2012
    63
    Even when Wagner & Me seems uneven as an art historical study, it's fairly successful as a travelogue.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Dec 4, 2012
    60
    Most of the time, though, Fry is an unabashed appreciator. He paws at costumes, thrills to touch Wagner's own piano, and looks right at the camera to apologize for being so excited. It's the light, charming touch absent in Wagner - and proof that both of the famous men referred to in the title benefit from each other's association.
  5. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Dec 6, 2012
    60
    For Fry, the music's complexity, ambiguity, innovation and humanity far surpass Wagner's personal limitations. He may not convince his viewers of the rightness of his conclusions, but he certainly makes a fervent case for the triumph of art over biography.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 13, 2012
    50
    To truly appreciate Wagner & Me, a BBC documentary getting a spotty theatrical release in this country, you have to cherish the music of Richard Wagner with the same quivering intensity as host Stephen Fry.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Dec 4, 2012
    40
    While the documentary offers some insights into the pervertion of art for ideological purposes, too much of it simply finds Fry standing in dumbfounded awe of the holy sites that populate his journey.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

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