The documentary Otto by Otto explores the life and career of the great Australian actor Barry Otto, directed by his daughter Gracie. Unlike many films celebrating artistic geniuses, this documentary stands out because of the personal connection between the filmmaker and the subject. Gracie’s intimate perspective brings an emotionally rich depth to the film that truly captures the essence of her father’s talent.

The film begins with home videos and footage of Barry Otto in his everyday life, surrounded by his beloved cats in his cluttered Petersham home. Gracie takes her father on a journey to Brisbane to revisit his childhood and early career, painting a vivid picture of his humble beginnings and rise to stardom in the Australian film industry.

Barry Otto’s performances in both film and theatre are highlighted throughout the documentary, showcasing his versatility and unique presence on stage and screen. Despite the fleeting nature of theatre, Otto’s film performances have stood the test of time and continue to captivate audiences to this day.

The film includes interviews with key figures in Otto’s life and career, such as Cate Blanchett, Baz Luhrmann, and Ray Lawrence. Their insights, combined with archival footage of Otto’s performances, create a visually engaging narrative that keeps the audience hooked from start to finish.

One of the most poignant moments in the film is the revelation of Otto’s battle with Alzheimer’s, a diagnosis that deeply affected him in his later years. Gracie delicately navigates this aspect of her father’s life, ensuring that it is portrayed in a way that honors his full persona and does not define him solely by his illness.

Overall, Otto by Otto is a touching tribute to a true talent who marched to the beat of his drum throughout his career. From his iconic roles in Australian cinema to his mesmerizing stage performances, Barry Otto’s legacy is beautifully captured in this heartfelt documentary. The film serves as a reminder that even the greatest storytellers are not immune to life’s challenges and struggles, making Otto’s journey all the more inspiring and relatable to audiences.