Looking for Richard is a 1996 film directed by Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Al Pacino, which reveals that inside the movie star beats the heart and mind of a Broadway legend. Although the film took home the Best Feature Documentary from the Directors Guild of America, genre categorization is not that simple. In addition to the inclusion of staged scenes from William Shakespeare’s play Richard III featuring recognizable stars like Kevin Spacey, Winona Ryder and Alec Baldwin, Looking for Richard also features interview segments with theater critics, Shakespearean scholars, and ordinary people on the street. The result is a strange hybrid that commingles elements of various different sub-genres within the documentary drama including a behind-the-scenes style about the “making of” a production of the Bard history of the hated clubfooted British monarch.
The result is a loosely structured examination of Pacino’s obsession with the character of Richard III that, at times, almost has the feeling of a very well-financed home movie. Ultimately, Looking for Richard is a movie in which the audience finds out at least as much about Al Pacino as it does about Shakespeare’s Richard III.