Saturday, September 24, 2016

Beyond the Sea (2004)

Director: Kevin Spacey

Writers: Kevin Spacey, Lewis Colick

Composer: ???

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman, Bob Hoskins, Brenda Blethyn, Greta Scacchi, Caroline Aaron

More info: IMDb

Tagline: BOBBY DARIN . . . in the era of cool he was the soundtrack.

Plot: The biography of 1950s pop singer Bobby Darin and his wife, movie star Sandra Dee.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

Kevin Spacey's just got it goin' on all over the place.  In this picture he directs, writes, stars, sings, dances and he probably was in charge or craft services or drove the trucks.  He's a performing tour de force.  It's got a lot of what you'd expect in any music biography but Spacey does play a little with the format so it's not stale like so many biopicks.  There's lots singing and dancing along with some conflict but you do get a sense that even at the worst of it, it's all going to be OK and that Bobby & Sandra loved each other despite the hiccups.  I'm not familiar with Darin's life but the end of the film has a title card that covers the bases on how this film took a lot of liberties.  The one thing that stood out as the best scene was at the end when Bobby is singing the last song, The Curtain Falls, to the film's nightclub audience and we get a montage of a few events that include his death, and the scene that indicates he's dead is brilliant.  The entire sequence is brilliant and beautifully handled.  Loved it.
The Lionsgate DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen and the extras are a 17 minute making of featurette that gives you some neat behind the scenes tidbits, a commentary track with Spacey and producer Andy Paterson and some non-anamorphic widescreen trailers for movies with no relation to this one (Madea?  Really?  If you liked BEYOND THE SEA, you'll love...?  Wow.)

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