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:: Celebrity Dominick Dunne

Over the years Australia has produced some sensational documentaries. Now from directional newcomers, Kirsty de Garis and Timothy Jolley comes ‘Celebrity Dominick Dunne’, a documentary that outclasses most others while not forgetting how to keep the audience interested.

Dominick Dunne has a sensational story to tell. From the time when he was bullied from his father, to when he became an American War Hero, to when he became a powerful Hollywood Producer and close friend to the rich and famous, down to when he hit rock-bottom and became an Hollywood outcast, and then up again to when he became the man that most people would know today; one of the world’s leading journalists who sensationally follows the criminal trials that fill our front pages; from O.J. Simpson to the Menendez murders, Dunne has be there for the lot.

Jolley and de Garis have put together a near perfect documentary. Instead of just tacking interview after interview together, the documentary is delightfully full of Dunne’s never-before seen home video footage (which features some of Hollywood’s elite), and follows Dunne as he covers the Phil Spector murder trial, which he describes ‘as his last murder trial for Vanity Fair’.

Dunne is a marvellous subject for a documentary and Jolley and de Garis capture him suburbly. Dunne doesn’t hold back, openly talking about touching subjects such as the murder of his daughter, allowing a gangster to protect him from criminal charges, his marriage breakdown and even allowing the cameras to follow him into the intimate surrounds of his working area in New York City. The fact the documentary doesn’t portray Dunne as an ‘angel’ makes it brilliant viewing. It paints two sides to the story with the defense lawyers talking about Dunne’s ‘lack of knowledge’ and ‘sensationalist style journalism’, and we even see his own son talking about home life with Dunne ‘wasn’t always so great’.

The side story of the Spector murder case always makes this documentary a must-see as Dunne gives the viewer a wonderful overview of the case and the cameras catch Spector in some less-than-flattering poses during his court hearing.