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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

‘Introducing Selma Blair’ review: An actress in her second act

The documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair” presents a bravely relatable version of the often-all-too-artificial phenomenon: an artist who navigates the process of reinvention. Actress Selma Blair underwent an uncharacteristic change when she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, in August 2018. She went public with her illness in October of that year with an Instagram post.

Blair’s initial announcement was clear, detailing the initial indifference she received from medical professionals, and she extended generous thanks to friends—some famous and some not—who encouraged her to seek help. At the time, Blair, now 49, was known for her supporting roles in many of the most approachable and entertaining Hollywood films of the past 20 years. This acquaintance made her remarkably clear about the quality of reading updates from an old friend.

His decisions after his public announcement were consistent with this initial burst of honesty. Blair continued to publicly document his illness on Instagram. She graced the red carpet with a cane made of jewels. She offered interviews, allowing journalists to show off her disruption of speech and movement. She was instead glamorous and clumsy, witty and mournful.

The documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair” expands the existing record of Blair’s life into a coherent, feature-length account. The film begins in 2019, after the initial phase of the media has passed. The director, Rachel Fleet, follows Blair at home for over a year, watching her camera in variety style as the actress contemplates after her diagnosis and plans ahead for life with a disability. ..

At the start of filming in 2019, Blair was preparing for an experimental medical treatment that would combine chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant to repair her immune system. As the procedures begin, the film follows her to the hospital, which includes Blair’s video diary in convalescence.

The film’s greatest asset is its ability to simulate the intimacy of disclosure, and Blair’s comfort with the camera—her actress-willingness to entertain—makes her a uniquely endearing subject. The candor that has become the hallmark of his public persona is fully on display; She treats the camera as if she were a trusted friend.

In some of the film’s most poignant scenes, Blair allows the filmmakers to watch as she plays with her son, his jerky movements a part of the fun, and evidence of his physical condition. When he’s out of the picture, she shares her concerns about how her visible vulnerability might affect her child. She jokes, she cries, she cries in pain.

The film does not address all aspects of Blair’s life. There is little talk about her career, and no mention of how she provides exceptional home and medical treatments that have brought her relief through the worst days of her illness. Instead this human interest story presents a simple and sympathetic portrait of a captivating character. The interesting thing is that career supporting actress Selma Blair has never been such a star before.

Introducing Selma Blair
not evaluated. Walking Time: 1 hour 35 minutes. in Theaters. Also available on Discovery+ starting October 21.

World Nation News Desk
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