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'Kid' is one long ad for Bob Evans

"The Kid Stays in the Picture," chronicling the life of producer Robert Evans, presents itself as the Holly- wood tell-all movie of the year.

That made it a natural for the Cannes Film Festival, where attitudes toward Hollywood are a burbling blend of admiration and envy on one hand, and fear and loathing on the other.

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It may not fare so well in US theaters.

What's stayed in this picture is mountains of testimony to what a gifted mogul Evans has been during his 46-year career – narrated by Evans himself, which lowers the objectivity quotient just a tad. Everything else has stayed on the cutting-room floor.

Not that Evans isn't a fascinating figure. He's produced classics such as "The Godfather" and "Rosemary's Baby," and has what the film's publicity calls "meaningful love affairs" with glamorous stars. His best buddies range from Jack Nicholson to Henry Kissinger.

The documentary acknowledges the dark sides of his life, including a slide into drug abuse that scuttled his career until he engineered a Hollywood-style bailout by making a string of films with anti- drug messages. But it still adds up to a 93-minute advertisement for himself.

• Rated R; contains drug use and film clips with sex and violence.


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