Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story
Funny and heartfelt
The story of one man's triumph over adversity: cameras followed the comedian on a very stressful comeback tour and caught the story behind some of his best loved material en route. Prior to his Sexie tour in 2003 and under extreme pressure to write, he delved into his own life for inspiration. So began an accidental voyage into his past that paralleled his world tour and culminated in a moment of revelation about the source of his relentless drive. Film contains exclusive never-before-seen footage including the famous 'wolves' material, his first student sketches and unicycle-riding as a street performer in Covent Garden. Hilarious and moving by turns, an inspiring tale of how tragedy can be turned to laughter.
"Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story" is a documentary that has some truly fascinating material, but presents itself so incoherently it prevents it from being the documentary it could have been.
If you are a fan of Eddie Izzard as I am then you are likely familiar with much that gets covered in Believe. However, there are some surprises here. For instance, the British tele programme (see what I did there?), Watchdog, charged Eddie with fraud for not having all new material during his next tour. Apparently they haven't seen another comedian perform ever as comedians often return to their old standards and improvise upon them. That is how new material comes to be! The film mostly follows Eddie as he attempts to develop new material without relying on the old, a system counterintuitive to the way comedy is usually written. You also get to see Eddie's career develop step by step from his schooling to street performing to stand up, to Hollywood films. At time the veil is lifted and you see glimpses of Eddie's naked soul.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.