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Arts | Culture

Review: ‘Quiet One’ captures essence of the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman

A photograph of Bill Wyman in the Studio in scene from “The Quiet One.” Credit: Brent Rej/Brent Rej
A photograph of Bill Wyman from the documentary “The Quiet One.”
(Brent Rej Photography / Sundance Selects)

You don’t often see a biographical rock ’n’ roll documentary that’s not peppered with bad behavior, self-destruction, wild excess, booze and drugs and/or egomania, but “The Quiet One,” director Oliver Murray’s nostalgic documentary about Rolling Stones founding member and bass player Bill Wyman enjoyably lives up to its unassuming title.

Murray was blessed with full access to Wyman’s staggering amount of personal archival material with which the musician, now 82, has cataloged seemingly every key moment of his modestly iconic life — and more. His library and workspace, a feat of dedication and organization, would make Marie Kondo proud.

The filmmaker impressively assembles Wyman’s life story — working-class South London youth (born William Perks Jr.), 31 years with the Stones, side projects, three wives and four children, busy latter days — using the musician’s storehouse of home movie footage, self-shot photos and other memorabilia. Murray fills in with strong vintage TV news interviews, concert clips, bits of animation and audio comments from such rock luminaries as Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof and Stones drummer Charlie Watts (no Mick Jagger or Keith Richards, though).

In his narration and chats with Murray, Wyman is genial and informative; a largely contained, humble, reflective soul. Just don’t expect dirt on his fellow Stones or anything intensely deep or revealing. A lovely closing story about Wyman and his idol Ray Charles speaks volumes.

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‘The Quiet One’

Rating: Not rated

When: Opens Friday

Where: Landmark Ken

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Running time: 1 hours, 38 minutes

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