The Impressment Gang

View Original

Atlantic Film Festival: Born to be Blue

Monday, Sept. 21 9:30 pm - Park Lane

Director: Robert Budreau
Writer: Robert Budreau
Producers: Jennifer Jonas, Leonard Farlinger, Jake Seal, Robert Budreau
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie
Country: Canada
Runtime: 97 minutes

 

Born to be Blue is a stunning look into jazz, addiction and the life of Chet Baker. Ethan Hawke plays Baker following the loss of his teeth in a savage beating and subsequent collapse of his career. It is also a window of Baker’s life notable for his struggle to remain sober.

This is not your typical musical drama. Gone are the crowds, the city lights, the easy glamor you would expect from a jazz-based, sixties-era film. Here we see a child-like and vulnerable Chet Baker stumbling through strangely desolate landscapes, barely concealing the desperation, pain and physical exertion that accompany every note he plays. It's an incredible insight not into drugs, but into sobriety. Hawke brilliantly captures the strangeness and harshness of a world no longer tinted by heroin, a world where the only thing that makes sense is the heart-breaking loveliness of pacific jazz.

Review by Flannery Jefferson