Review of "Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed": no gloss

Bob Ross’s hair was beautiful. When he appeared on “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee ”, Regis Philbin teased him about his Afro, whic...


Bob Ross’s hair was beautiful. When he appeared on “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee ”, Regis Philbin teased him about his Afro, which Ross kindly admitted he could be fed beyond life. And the photos of Ross as a teenager, then a young aviator swinging a pompadour make it clear that he always liked good things. This is one of director Joshua Rofé’s happiest scenes in “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed”, a documentary less about Ross’s life than what happened to his brand in the last few years and after. his death. Annette and Walt Kowalski, who were Ross’s business partners, are not painted in a flattering light. (The couple declined to participate in the film.)

Ross’s TV show, “The Joy of Painting,” ran from 1983 to 1994. And the title is reminiscent of how Ross trained students and then an exponentially growing audience to treat a mistake as “happy.” accident “. Yet, happy as Ross’s word of reference is, heartbreak permeates the film. Ross died of lymphoma in 1995. He was 52 years old. His only child, Steven, and his friends and fellow artists John Thamm and Dana Jester bear the brunt of the storytelling here.

If we’re to trust the film – and that’s not an unreasonable concern considering it steers on disputes over the field – then the heartache laid the foundation for Ross’s relationship with the Kowalskis. Annette Kowalski had recently lost her son while taking a class with Ross in 1982. Even deeper grief permeates the film. “I’ve wanted to get this story out for all these years,” Steven Ross said from the start. He later said, “What they did was shameful, and the people should know it.”

From the outset, the documentary pushes us into the shadows with a scintillating and then disturbing score. Illustrations with the texture of a paint-by-number kit highlight the darker themes of Steven Ross’ memories. The film’s portrayal of what the Kowalskis did to own Ross’s name when he fell ill is lousy, but not surprising given that the parties were in the midst of a legal dispute following Ross’s death.

Towards the end, the director breaks out of the moral spiral by introducing people touched by Ross. These testimonies are welcome but they underline that the reverse side of this saga is sorely lacking. The melancholy result is that the painter with the spectacularly rocking voice, trademark and liberating kindness remains a mystery; not the brand that made millions but the guy who made millions.

Bob Ross: happy accidents, betrayal and greed
Unclassified. Duration: 1 hour 32 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Review of "Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed": no gloss
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