This moving documentary looks into Robin Williams’ battle with Lewy body dementia in the months leading up to his tragic death.
The death of Robin Williams shocked and upset millions of fans around the world in August 2014.
For weeks after the Mrs. Doubtfire star died, news outlets widely reported (or misreported) his suicide stemmed from a history of depression and addiction issues, when Robin was, in fact, sober at the time and unaware he was battling a degenerative disease – Lewy body dementia (LBD) – a diagnosis only discovered posthumously in the coroner’s report.
His widow Susan Schneider Williams, who has been raising awareness about LBD ever since her husband died, has teamed up with director Tylor Norwood to address the misunderstandings around Williams’ death, his experience with LBD from 2013 until he died, and the Oscar winner’s Parkinson’s disease misdiagnosis.
The documentary features scientists explaining LBD, friends recalling highlights of their friendship with the Good Will Hunting actor as well as some of their last encounters, plus co-workers on his final projects and neighbours discussing his deteriorating health.
One of the standout interviewees is Shawn Levy, who directed Williams in the Night at the Museum franchise, with the third being filmed in early 2014 and released later that year, months after he passed. Until now, Levy has never spoken publicly about the differences he noticed in the actor and you can’t help but feel moved hearing him recall how Williams had lost his confidence and morale, struggled with lines, and told him “I’m not myself anymore”. David E. Kelley, the creator of TV sitcom The Crazy Ones, echoes these sentiments.
The result is a profoundly moving, eye-opening, and poignant documentary about one of Hollywood’s greatest comedians and actors. It’ll be more affecting if you’re a fan of his work but even if you’re not, you should still feel something hearing his close friends and co-workers talking about how a once quick-witted and confident man became paranoid, anxious, filled with self-doubt, suffered from delusions, and kept trying to get to the bottom of what was wrong with his mind. If you are fan, this is a must-watch.
Out now on Digital and On Demand on all major platforms.