Dan Lett

Dan Lett

Dan Lett Quick Links

News Film RSS

Born To Be Blue Review

Very Good

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist Chet Baker, combining the achingly soulful music with an equally resonant performance from Ethan Hawke. Sometimes, the film's artistic flourishes seem to strain to cover up the usual narrative of a musical artist's life. But Baker's story has a striking emotional layer to it that holds the attention. And by focussing on a pivotal period in his life, Budreau draws out some lovely themes.

It opens in 1966 Los Angeles, where Chet is starring in a movie about his life. One actress, Jane (Carmen Ejogo), is playing all of the women he loved, and of course he's now pursuing her as well. There's also the problem that he's not quite sure if he's still a heroin junkie or if he's just playing himself when he was one. Then he gets in a street fight in which thugs knock out his front teeth, and everyone tells him he will never play his trumpet again. But he tenaciously sets out to regain his embouchure, even as his parole officer (Tony Nappo) refuses to give him a break. He decides to take Jane to visit his parents (Stephen McHattie and Janet-Laine Green) back home in Oklahoma, and rebuild his life from there. Then back in California, he approaches his music producer friend Dick (Callum Keith Rennie) to help him make a comeback.

Hawke brings a terrific earthy charm to the role, conveying Baker's effortless musical gifts as well as his inner steeliness in the face of injury and addiction. The darker sides of Baker's personality simmer in the background, increasing his allure. And Ejogo is terrific opposite him. Jane is a woman who sees everything that Baker is, and she knows that she has limits to what she will let him get away with. It's easy for the audience to root for them to succeed as a couple, even though every other musical biopic has told us that a happy ever after probably isn't on the cards.

Continue reading: Born To Be Blue Review

The Life Before This Review


Very Good
Scene 1: Robbers on the run bust into a coffee shop and kill everyone, including themselves. Scenes 2-120: Time rolls back to reveal what happened earlier that day to everyone in the shop, including the robbers. Only the outcome may not be quite the same... Overwrought yet still engaging, this Sliding Doors-esque picture has been done time and time again (no pun intended), but it still manages to keep a certain level of charm. Thanks to a lot of really good actors like Polley, Rea, and O'Hara, The Life Before This is a bit more than just a gimmick.
Dan Lett

Dan Lett Quick Links

News Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

Met Gala 2018: Pope Rihanna And Zendaya Of Arc Among Best Dressed

Met Gala 2018: Pope Rihanna And Zendaya Of Arc Among Best Dressed

This year's best dressed stars at the Catholic-themed Met Gala.

Childish Gambino - This Is America Video

Childish Gambino - This Is America Video

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino has stunned the world with his latest video 'This Is America' which blends comedy and dance with flippant violence.

'Lord Of The Rings' Was Almost Directed By Quentin Tarantino

'Lord Of The Rings' Was Almost Directed By Quentin Tarantino

Harvey Weinstein wanted one movie, and almost sacked Peter Jackson over it.

Manic Street Preachers - First Direct Arena, Leeds 02.05.2018 Live Review

Manic Street Preachers - First Direct Arena, Leeds 02.05.2018 Live Review

On the road to promote their much-acclaimed 13th album, which was a place shy of topping the UK charts, Manic Street Preachers showed they are far...

Advertisement
Don Cheadle's Freestyle 'Avengers' Rap Is Everything

Don Cheadle's Freestyle 'Avengers' Rap Is Everything

That final battle scene? Yeah, it was a poo-poo. Whatever that means.

Katy Perry Has Offered Taylor Swift An Actual Olive Branch

Katy Perry Has Offered Taylor Swift An Actual Olive Branch

Their feud has had the pop world hooked since it began at least four years ago. Music juggernauts, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, have traded blows...

The Biggest WTF Moments Since Kanye West's Comeback

The Biggest WTF Moments Since Kanye West's Comeback

Slavery is a choice and Trump has dragon energy...

Billy Corgan Teases

Billy Corgan Teases "Two New EPs" Of Smashing Pumpkins Songs In 2018

Corgan took to Instagram to confirm rumours of new Pumpkins material, saying the first songs could arrive as early as May.

Advertisement

Dan Lett Movies

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.