Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Thursday, January 06, 2005  

Speaking of movies

I screened (heh, heh) the new movie, Beyond the Sea, a fantasy biopic of Bobby Darin by Kevin Spacey.

Spacey wrote, directed, produced, and stars in this tour de force of Spacey finding a way at his age to present the life of someone he clearly admires in the highest degree.

I liked it very much. There is a strange tension I felt between the image of Spacey and my memory of Darin, but the musical numbers are outstanding. The movie worked in a way that was quirky but valid. It slowed down and lost energy when Darin enters the mid 60's and goes hippie with pinhead political views, but I give credit at the end when Spacey doesn't go for the lump in the throat and three hanky finish of o how sad he died so young.

Instead, Spacey ends it on a high note of celebration in song. And Spacey's vocals are simply amazing. Ebert said he sang better than Darin did. I can't agree with that. Darin created his own style and manner, and Spacey's singing makes you want to go home and listen to Darin all over again and compare the two, but as I said, it's a tour de force in every respect.

It's hard to judge a movie on a single viewing, but I kept thinking of how much my nineteen year old daughter will love this movie (except for the politics part). This may be one of the best biopics ever made. It certainly took an original stance in presenting that life, and dealing with Spacey's age and circumstances. You forget his age after awhile and simply accept him as Darin.

Yet, if you never saw the movie, Captain Newman, M.D., for which he was nominated for an Academy award or heard his orginal singing on Mack the Knife, I wonder if this film would inform us about Darin that much.

I also kept expecting to see Darin as the great showman, the way he'd play a dozen instruments, and just keep things revved up. We only get a single song at a time from scene to scene when he's onstage performing and don't see the versatility and extended energy.

Fine movie. Go see it. A few unnecessary vulgarities (F bombs) here and there, but generally quickly forgotten or excused. Would still have preferred them not being there, but what can you do? Every movie with any adult substance always has a some unneeded words. They just don't get it.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 5:24 PM |