Directors: Nel Minchin & Rhian Skirving
As much the story of Tim Minchin as it is the story of Matilda the musical this documentary (co-directed by one of Minchin’s sisters) is a charming, interesting tale that will appeal not only to those that have already seen the production (I haven’t, but I loved the book and the film – who doesn’t love Roald Dahl?) but will certainly be of value, I’m sure, as background to those who have already seen and loved the show.
Minchin grew up in a WA beach town and was never considered special amongst a large family. They all played music, put on shows, acted up. He gave up formal lessons early, but continued on playing the piano. Moved into writing his own songs – dabbled with acting and then comedy.
There is already a great documentary about the making of Minchin – as character/brand – and this film doesn’t really touch on that, doesn’t get in the way, doesn’t repeat, but still fills in some of the story from struggling actor/comic to a musical comedian and now celebrated composer.
Interestingly Minchin first approached the Dahl family about Matilda. He had dreams of putting on a wee local production. He was just 25 when he first contacted them about rights to Matilda.
Some 15 years later, a huge hit on his hands, he was still very much the wildcard when he finally netted (and nailed) the big-deal musical.
It’s both heart-warming and cautionary. Minchin has been driven and focused and the hard work is now paying off.
Stopping just short of being a flat-out puff-piece Matilda & Me is very easy for me to recommend.