As hinted by its nicely simple title, Jim & Andy is a documentary exploring the brilliant but difficult comedy minds of Jim Carrey and the late Andy Kaufman, centring on how those minds became one on the set of Miloš Forman’s 1999 biopic of Kaufman, Man on the Moon. Framed by a frank and touching one-on-one talking head with Carrey, Jim & Andy also gives a crash course into the unique performance of Kaufman as well as some incredible behind-the-scenes footage of Man on the Moon.
Inspired by Kaufman’s unparalleled, often infuriating commitment to character, particularly when doing a skit as the boorish Tony Clifton, Carrey was Kaufman during the shoot. He riled his director and co-stars, making set life a lot more difficult, but at the same time found something of Kaufman in himself that touched the lives of all around him. It’s not a performance so much as a visitation, and watching Carrey as Kaufman between takes is mesmerising – he genuinely isn’t the same person as the one giving the interview.
A showstopping sequence sees Carrey-as-Kaufman get into an in-character argument with Gerry Becker, playing Andy’s father. Taking place in the makeup trailer, it’s utterly real and has the artists weeping by the end. Kaufman’s family visited the set a lot, and though these exchanges were filmed less, the limited footage of them embracing Carrey as their returned son/brother/boyfriend is extraordinary. It would be invasive to ask for any more, but you can’t help but want a further glimpse.
As well as fascinating and affecting, Jim & Andy is very funny, as it should be with its subjects. Two of the most gifted and original comedians of their generations, the talents of Carrey and Kaufman are captured in an insightful look inside the creative process.
CAST: Jim Carrey
DIRECTOR: Chris Smith
SYNOPSIS: A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon.[TRAILER FORTHCOMING]