HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
   
 
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
   
 
  Born To Be Blue Facts Get Lost
Year: 2015
Director: Robert Budreau
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie, Tony Nappo, Stephen McHattie, Janet-Laine Green, Dan Lett, Kedar Brown, Kevin Hanchard, Tony Nardi, Barbara Mamabolo, Charles Officer, Katie Boland, Janine Theriault, Joe Cobden, Natassia Halabi
Genre: Drama, Biopic, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Chet Baker (Ethan Hawke) is a famed trumpet player who specialises in jazz, but the trouble is he also specialises in being a heroin addict. He remembers being at a club where he was the headline act, and he got through his set with ease, but backstage he had caught the attention of a woman who introduced him to the drug, and that led to a lifelong dependency on the substance. But as he was spread-eagled on the couch in his dressing room in the arms of this woman, his girlfriend barged in and demanded to know what he was doing, and why he was going off the script, to which he pointed out he was a far younger man when he became an addict anyway, so he is allowed to improvise a little...

If that opening was bringing back bad memories of Kevin Spacey's Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea, rest assured it was not that much of a vanity project, but you might have applied that suspicion to the writer and director (and dedicated jazz fan) Robert Burdeau who apparently believed his beloved Chet Baker did not have an eventful enough life to translate to the screen, so basically made up a different one for his film. This was a trend that some identified as proof biopics were going downhill (it was released within months of Don Cheadle's Miles Davis riff Miles Ahead), but it was really an appropriation of the methods of bringing musical talents to the big screen that had been the norm for decades.

Which was to say, messing around with the true story was more often a habit with the movies than it was an aberration, there had to be some concessions to crafting what was expected in entertainment, so cast your mind back to Cary Grant playing Cole Porter in Night and Day and you'd see an account that was factually hopeless and simply an excuse to string performances of Porter's work together. That was pretty much what you were offered here, a trumpeter called Chet Baker whose life story had a glancing recognition with the facts laid down in the cult documentary Let's Get Lost of a good few years before, and even that film had its critics who claimed it leaned closer to hagiography than was necessary.

They got the heroin right enough, to the extent that the narcotic was depicted as the driving force in Baker's existence, though it had a rival in Jane (Carmen Ejogo), the great love of his life. Only it didn't, because there was no such person as Jane, she was Budreau's invention to turn this into a rather hackneyed yarn of a tortured genius and the woman who tried to keep him straight. You could only wonder why these choices were made, as they merely misinformed those new to Baker, and those who were dedicated fans (he did court that kind of obsessive appreciation) would be driven up the wall by all these liberties taken with their hero. Some would be more willing to forgive for the sake of a movie that at least brought their idol back into the spotlight, if you could hear their praise over the general grumbling.

Hawke had long since proven himself a boon to indie moviemaking of all varieties (OK, maybe not YouTube videos), and he brought his accustomed dedication and sincerity to a role he had coveted for some time, even doing his own not bad at all approximation of Baker's singing voice, though he mimed to the trumpet melodies. Ejogo too was a professional presence, sustaining interest in what quickly lapsed into cliché, a fractured relationship with his parents here, the problems with the law there, and the love of a good woman he may well reject for his dedication to the needle. If it was the music you wanted, at least that was served up with utter respect, and the production obviously relished recreating smoky jazz clubs and recording studios alike, though there was a sense of the greatest hits about the choices. However, Baker was turned into a travelling hippy in a camper van for a considerable stretch of the film, not unlike the Bobby Darin biopic, which felt like a different story to what the jazz should have been conjuring up. Slick, but hard to entirely endorse.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1585 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: