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Beyond the Sea (2004)

1 rating: 5.0
Art House & International and Drama movie directed by Kevin Spacey

The chameleon-like actor Kevin Spacey is best known for playing pyschopaths (inSevenandThe Usual Suspects) and capturing a creepy mid-life crisis inAmerican Beauty--but surprisingly, playing crooner Bobby Darin, Spacey does some snappy dancing and top-notch … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: Kevin Spacey
1 review about Beyond the Sea (2004)

A Divine Piece Of Musical Cinema

  • Jan 30, 2009
Rating:
+5
Being a fan of the swing era and in particular Darin I couldn't wait to see this movie when I first heard about it being made. Knowing about the people involved, what story it had to tell and the format it would take I just knew this would be amazing from the first minute to the last. Kevin Spacey is currently the finest actor to ever grace the silver screen, and he will go down in history as one of the finest to ever grace it. Bobby Darin in contrast was one of the finest singers of the great musical generation, was basically the first ever teen idol and has definitely gone down in history as one of the most entertaining and charismatic singers of the swing generation.

Before the film had even come to the screens, there was constant talk about whether Spacey was too old to play the part being 45 at the time and playing Bobby from his early to later career. In some respects it may be true that Kevin may have been too old to play the part, but he certainly put my fears to rest. The opening sequence of the film is an elongated introduction to the legendary song of "Mack The Knife" in which we're instantly introduced to Spacey as Darin making his way to the stage. The minute Spacey hits the stage, grabs the mic and engages the audience of actors you know that he was born to play Darin.

The story quite simply focuses around the life of Bobby Darin starting off modestly in his childhood when being taught the piano and to sing by his Mother, then growing into becoming the star he is. At the age of 8 Darin overheard a doctor tell his mother that he (Darin) would be lucky to see 16 years of age, so he lived in constant fear of his own mortality and developed high determination to live his short life to the fullest. Throughout the story we come to see the people he met that changed his life forever, especially his first wife Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth).

Being a Biopic Musical is something you don't regularly see, but when it does come around it certainly is an experience and this is made all the better with Spacey doing his musical performances. I honestly didn't realise that Spacey had such vocal talent, but the mimicry of all of Darins mannerisms are certainly something special. The dialect, the movements, the charisma and the aura are all expressed superbly throughout the film. In effect Spacey overshadows the entire supporting cast with his truly outstanding performance throughout. I'm not sure why but Spacey seemed to put that little bit extra into this performance, whether it was to prove the critics wrong or whether it was to do Darin justice I simply don't know, but what I do know is that it was wonderful.

Mentioning the supporting cast, there are certainly a few big names in there such as John Goodman as Darins manager, Bob Hoskins as his sisters husband and of course Kate Bosworth as the fabulous Sandra Dee. A special mention should go to William Ullrich as he plays a young Bobby Darin and actually performs a few musical duets with Spacey within the film. He's a delightful kid and very talented and possibly the only one not to be overshadowed by Spacey's presence.

Overall I would advise you all to ignore the negative critics on this one and at least give it a chance. Of course, if you don't like it then, then at least you can say "well I gave it a shot and it just didn't work for me." This isn't a film for everyone because of its subject and its format as some simply aren't fans of musicals, but judge each film on its merit that's what I say.

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