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“Phil Spector”: Is fame a Faustian bargain?

“Phil Spector,” starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren and directed and written by David Mamet, is a supremely odd film, and not because Pacino dresses up in a wide variety of wigs and rambles sort of in character, like a set of Pacino ticks coming through Quaaludes. The movie, which premieres on HBO on Sunday night, has been disavowed by both Spector’s wifeand the survivors of Lana Clarkson, the woman Spector is currently in jail for murdering, and should you watch, you will understand their concerns. “Phil Spector,” reflecting Mamet’s own take on the case, argues, fairly forcefully, that while the one-time wunderkind of ‘60s pop arrangements may have killed Clarkson, there was enough reasonable doubt to have set him free. He was not acquitted, however, because people perceive him as a freak. Spector was too much of an epic weirdo to get a fair trial.

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