Review Roundup: LIZA: A TRULY TERRIFIC ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY Documentary

Directed by Bruce David Klein, the film brings the dazzling, complex period of Liza Minnelli's life in the 1970s into focus.

By: Jun. 13, 2024
Review Roundup: LIZA: A TRULY TERRIFIC ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY Documentary
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Wednesday saw the world premiere of the new documentary chronicling the life and career of Broadway legend Liza Minnelli at the Tribeca Festival. Critics in attendance have begun to reveal their thoughts on the film.

In addition to the press screening, there will also be two public screenings of the film at the festival, the first on Thursday, June 13 at 5:00pm EST at Village East Cinema - Theater 7 and the second on Saturday, June 15 at 5:30pm EST at Village East Cinema - Theater 1. Tickets for public screenings are limited. The film is currently seeking wider distribution.

Directed by Bruce David Klein, the film brings the dazzling, complex period of Liza’s life in the 1970s, just after the tragic death of her mother, into focus. Liza confronts a range of personal and professional challenges on the way to becoming a bonafide legend. Over the years, Liza seeks out extraordinary mentors: Kay Thompson, Fred Ebb, Charles Aznavour, Halston, and Bob Fosse. They all help her transform from a performer with boundless raw talent and famous parents into a mature, beautifully polished, superstar of stage and screen. Liza takes the world by storm in films ("Cabaret", "New York, New York", "Arthur"), television specials ("Liza with a Z"), concerts (Carnegie Hall, Radio City), and Broadway shows ("The Act", "Chicago", "Liza’s at the Palace"). Her influence extends into fashion, nightlife, art and culture. Along the way, Liza earned an Oscar, an Emmy, four Tonys, a Grammy – and the undeniable status of living legend. Featuring interviews with Minnelli, Mia Farrow, Ben Vereen, Lorna Luft, and more.

Ahead of the film's wider debut, find out what critics thought of the new documentary. Read the reviews below and check back we continue to update this roundup with more reviews.


Pete Hammond, Deadline: "Seeing that talent just pop off the screen here, even in bits and pieces, is to be reminded of what a stunning performer she was in her prime. She is 78 now, but after all she has been through, including health battles (not covered here in detail), she is still unmistakably Liza, making this first in-depth look at her life and times a must for fans, and an enlightening showbiz tale even if you aren’t a devotee."

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter"Klein seldom shrinks away from adoration, but nor does he gloss over the challenges for the star of being born into a spotlight, living up to a lifetime of comparisons to her mother, Judy Garland, and carving out her own space while every short-lived romance, failed marriage and downslide into alcoholism and substance abuse became tabloid fodder. It’s not hagiography when the subject’s generosity of spirit infuses the entire doc."

Elizabeth Weitzman, TheWrap: "Klein, like everyone else onscreen, is understandably protective of the subject who bosses him around with captivating candor and irresistible affection. If the end result is less a comprehensive biography than a long-overdue and entirely-deserved tribute, it is, nevertheless, truly terrific."


Though Minnelli herself was not in attendance at the premiere screening, she took to Facebook to share some thoughts:

Bonjour Paris… Hiya Kids,
I’ve often said the day I was born I popped outta Momma and the press took a picture. They’ve been taking them ever since. Sadly, when some sleaze balls don’t know the truth, they just make up junk. Tonight, words, images, music from my life will be on display because of my forever friends at the Tribeca Film Festival, where “Liza: A Truly Terrific Absolutely True Story” shows up on screen. As for moi? I’m packing treasures designed by my friend Elsa Peretti, for a jaunt to Paris, working on a very special project. And yes, I will be visiting my bijoutierère, Tiffany & Co.
My beloved sister Lorna Luft, who makes an all too brief appearance, and I decided we couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t sit in the audience to watch a tribute to me, about me. Shades of Sunset Boulevard? Yikes! This film from @atlasmediacorp, Bruce David Klein and a gaggle of producers is my gift to you. I hope you love it. If you don’t, keep it to yourself…Ha! It shows my history and my life today and is only the beginning of renewing this phase of new ways to create at the ripe old age of 78! I don’t feel a day over… who the hell knows. Some trashy rags lie and say I’m too “fragile” to travel. How dumb is that? Honey, sitting in a Gulf Stream is smoother and more luxurious than any damn wheel chair. Which yes, I use sometimes. Babies, I still travel. Still love living life on my terms with a tight circle of people I adore. I’m finally free to have fun… “my heart has wings”. If you’re at @Tribeca, write me here and let me know what you think. I’ll get back to as many of you as I can. And remember it’s the Truly Terrific Absolutely True Story. 
Meet Nadar Sarkhosh, our pilot whose Eyes in the Skies, keep us safe and comfy. Thank you Michael and Terrence for sharing your plane. 
P.S. Happy #Pride Everyone! 



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