By LILY TINOCO | Assistant Editor
Netflix will explore the lives of Robert Downey Sr. and Palisadian Robert Downey Jr. in its latest acquisition, “Sr.”
Filmed in the last three years he was alive, the documentary is said to explore Downey Sr.’s life and work, from generational trauma and fatherhood, to his 1969 satirical comedy “Putney Swope,” according to Netflix. His relationship with his son is also reported to be a prominent part of the story.
“Whatever’s unfolding, funny or tragic, it’s happening with the camera going,” Downey Jr. can be heard saying in the trailer. “But then there’s some part of me that’s like, ‘Oh, I’ll miss him.’”
Director Chris Smith said on the first day of filming, he received thoughtful words from Downey Sr.: “Trust anything, and anything can happen.” Smith said he held onto those words as “guiding light” for the film.
“Knowing what I know now, it’s really the only way you could attempt to make something on the two Downeys,” Smith said in a statement. “Larger than life, but open and human as ever, it was such a pleasure and life-affirming experience to capture some glimpses of the highs, lows and everything in between.”
Downey Jr. produced the film alongside Susan Downey, Emily Barclay Ford and Kevin Ford.
“Sr.” first premiered at the 2022 Telluride Film Festival in September, where it received praise from critics.
In his review for IndieWire, Vikram Murthi highlighted the heavy emotion portrayed in the film.
“It’s nice to see Robert Downey Jr., a man who has spent the last 20 years wearing a carefully controlled public face, let his emotional guard down in the film’s devastating final section,” according to Murthi. “As difficult it is to watch Sr. physically and mentally deteriorate, it’s grounded by Jr.’s warmth towards his father.”
Born in Manhattan and raised in Greenwich Village, Downey Jr. moved to California with his father in 1978 after his parents divorced. He attended Santa Monica High School before dropping out and moving back to New York to pursue an acting career.
He is well-known for playing Iron Man in Marvel Studios’ “Avengers” movies from 2008 to 2019.
“Sr.” was released in select theaters Friday, November 18, and will stream on Netflix on Friday, December 2.
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