Werner Herzog’s haunting Grizzly Man didn’t even make the Academy voters’ 2005 nominee short list, but such oversights are not unusual for the establishment (Hoop Dreams, The Thin Blue Line). Using the true-life tale of grizzly bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell, an eccentric nature lover who was eventually consumed by one of his ”friends,” Herzog pulls the rug out from every convention we’ve come to recognize as the documentary form. What at first seems to be the deconstruction of a troubled crusader becomes an elegy on the nature of performance (yes, even in a doc), with Treadwell as the director’s unlikely muse. In describing Treadwell’s footage, the director sums up the movie best: ”I discovered a film of human ecstasies and darkest inner turmoil.” The lone EXTRA — an exhaustive 54-minute featurette on the movie’s guitar-flavored score — is a disappointment. With more than 100 hours of material mined for the film, how about a couple of outtakes, Werner?

Grizzly Man
  • Movie
  • 103 minutes