Flashbacks of a Fool Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 29, 2011
Directed (and written) by Baillie Walsh, Left Turn Films, 2008, Starring Daniel Craig, Harry Eden, Eve, Mark Strong and Olivia Williams.

Genre: Drama

Question: Do you receive recommendations to see a movie and most of the time you wonder what people saw in the movie that made them like it? Yes, I know I review and recommend movies all the time so maybe just ignore this question. I am still flustered over a movie I just finished viewing on Netflix: Flashbacks of a Fool.

Anyway, I wasn't going to review this movie because it hit me hard. I am still trying to figure out exactly why. A friend recommended this movie and their opinion is one that I always take into consideration. But as I like to always say: DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING about the movie so they did not. I am still undecided if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

The movie stars Daniel Craig (a.k.a. Bond, James Bond) as a self-indulgent, alcoholic, narcissist who is a very emotionally bruised man. He is obviously trying, desperately, to forget about his past and winds up alone, beaten and at the end of his rope emotionally. He receives some news one morning after a night of debauchery. It's probably the first connection to the past that he has had in years, decades. This just finally pushes him over the emotional edge. The first 20 minutes or so you see the life he has chosen for himself and why he comes to the beach to reflect back on his life after receiving this news.

That is when the flashbacks come - it's the late '70's somewhere in England on the coast. We see him as a youth - perhaps 15 or 16 years old with his friend. The story then lends itself towards a sexual coming-of-age story or so I thought. I really don't want to reveal anymore because what happens over the course of the next hour should be viewed with little prior knowledge. But I will say something happened that made me an emotional wreck. Then something happened at the end that ripped me apart. Maybe you won't see it but for whatever reason I lost it and had difficulty containing myself for the next hour or so.

This is a profound movie. This is a film about choices and the consequences of those choices especially when it is a selfish one.

Daniel Craig was brilliant in this movie. I always knew he could act and I can watch that blue-eyed actor in almost anything. He may even be my favorite James Bond (Yes!). But the first 20 minutes of watching him spiral down the emotional valley was something that everyone should see. I am not sure why this didn't get anymore PR or press when it was out a few years back. It baffles me some days - movies like Flashbacks of a Fool or other wonderful small indie films that don't get more notice. Well, hopefully, with my small little blog I can help people discover these wonderful gems.

I also have to give credit to the young man who played the younger version of Daniel Craig's character: Harry Eden. He really did a fantastic job as did all the actors in this small film.

My favorite thing: Well, Daniel Craig, of course!

My least favorite thing: I can't say...

Rating: R
Length: 100 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2009
Meh. Not a dismal film but not very interesting. Daniel Craig does his darned best to save it, but he isn't allowed much room. Olivia Wiliams is always a pleasure to watch... in fact, the performances are quite the only thing I'd give any credit to. The rest is just acceptable: decent cinematography, decent score. Still, the structure is disastrous and the story is aimless in a bad way. Only watchable for a few minutes of Roxy Music lipsynching!! And/or if you want to take a good, good look at Daniel Craig's butt from several angles. Suit yourself.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2009
This drama film manages its details well, but can't control a much bigger problem - the titular conceit - and is crippled by the fact that I never believe they're the same character. Solid performance by Daniel Craig as a man on the brink and Jodhi May is so hot in the sex scenes of the 1972 flashback.
Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2008
Fairly routine drama enlivened by a strong cast who brought the tale to life.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2008
Kind of pointless, but I still enjoyed it. It made me go and listen to a bunch of David Bowie afterwards and think of the past. Highlights include a little girl screaming "It's Mine!" as she steps on a giant WW2 water mine that blows up.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2009
In "Flashbacks of a Fool," Joe Scott(Daniel Craig) is a movie star whose life is in free fall due to vast substance abuse. His agent(Mark Strong) has told him not to call him anymore after losing yet another role. To make matters worse, he gets a call from his mother(Olivia Williams) that Boots(Max Deacon), his childhood best friend, has died, sending him off the deep end into the Pacific Ocean, resurfacing in memories from 25 years before in an English seaside village.

Even with Daniel's Craig customary fearlessness(although it's not really his movie) and a very good supporting cast, "Flashbacks of a Fool" still turns out to be an unoriginal and predictable movie that fails to prove that nothing good can come from two people having sex. In this case, it derives from an event so shameless and incredible, that it is absolutely mindboggling.(Admittedly, it is a little symbolic...) Then, the movie tries to turn around and use that incident to explain all of Joe's problems when simply being interrupted during sex would have done the job well enough. And why obsess over the past, anyway? I thought at one point that Joe might be gay and that his constant pretending to be someone he is not, is taking an enormous toll on him.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2012
"Flashbacks of a Fool" is simple and thoughtful, with Daniel Craig bringing a sophistication to his role. Despite being immersed in a rather basic coming-of-age plot, Harry Eden is catapulted into a much more dramatic role with help from Olivia Williams, Felicity Jones, and Jodhi May, who all deliver memorable performances, making Eden come off as a stronger actor. With its raw nature and fine-tuned story, this drama delivers more than expected.
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2008
In Flashbacks of a Fool, Daniel Craig plays a selfish actor that must revisit his past. The flashbacks (or more appropriately, flashback because it is one continuous flashback) are interesting and were the scenes I found most interesting, but the problem is that they don't really give the audience much perspective into what is happening in the present. And, plus, I found Daniel Craig quite annoying in this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2009
Good drama starring Daniel Craig. Flashbacks of a Fool is about a fading Hollywood star who looks back at the days of his youth as he returns home from his best friend's funeral. The story carefully constructed, with the story cleverly split into three part's (present/past/present) and there were solid performances throughout the cast.
May 31, 2011
This movie starts out quite slowly, but as the characters and the story are developed it picks up steam. Though the ending tries to be upliftiing, ultimately - like Joe Scot's life - it left me with an empty feeling in my stomach. Which, in this case, isn't really all that bad. I thought the casting was very well done.
½ February 8, 2011
Absolutely entertaining. The self-absorbed actor, Craig, is portrayed by a quiet and unfortunate younger self for a majority of the film. A truely inspirational and at times saddening story of the realization of priorties for a successful run-away.
½ November 8, 2009
There is a shot in "Flashbacks of a Fool" where Daniel Crag is coming down the stairs in the elegant sterility of his Malibu beach house where he stands momentarily in front of a famous photography of himself from Sam Taylor-Wood's Crying Men series. The portrait is so arresting, real tears sparkle in the ravaged eyes of Mr. Craig as he tires to shield his face from the camera. This juxtaposition of the portrait with the manic cut off and out of control movie star, Joe Scott, whom he is playing, says volumes about the film and its theme as well as something about its gifted star.

Director-writer Baillie Walsh has made a gem of a small character driven film that is both deeply meaningful to him and moving to the viewer. Kudos to him for bringing this his vision to the screen and to producer Craig for lending his star clout, which got this film made.

John Matheison's cinematography is lush and richly fills the screen,. The score by Richard Hartley informs the scenes without overwhelming them. And the editing by Sturan Clay is well done and seamless.

Wonderful performances are turned in by the entire cast with stand outs by Olivia William, Ophelia Franklin (brilliantly low key performance) and felicity Jones. Yet with a plethora of wonders in this film, great screenplay, perfect score with fine song choices and lush cinematography the heart and soul of this story belongs to two men.

Harry Eden and Daniel Craig who play the role of young and middle-aged Joe. Mr. Eden is not only a perfect physical choice to play a younger version of Daniel Craig but he has an amazingly open and stunning talent that matches his older costar. When he is on the screen you can look at nothing else. He knows how to project the inner feelings of the character straight out though his laser eyes and into the soul of the camera. A young star on the rise indeed and one can only hope that he will continue in the film business.

Daniel Craig again brings his unique talents as an actor to the table as the fading film star whom "Millions of women want" yet who is a lost golden boy sliding into the oblivion of drugs and denial. His appearance in small films such as this after his international success in "Casino Royale" shows that he is about the work and substance and we can cheer him for it. He is the best actor of his generation, and one of such a range that it leaves one to wonder what will he do next. Behind the most famous blue eyes in film there is such an amazing creature that embodies every emotion from molten rage to the softest tenderest heart. It is our luck and his blessing that he is in the right business and has the talent and courage to let it all out on the screen.
March 12, 2009
Unfortunately Flashbacks feels much like a racier version of an ITV drama. The acting and premise are good but something falls short in the delivery. Particularly since it is the death of an old friend that triggers Joe's memories, but then all the flashbacks we are treated to all almost all about selfishly about Joe, and not about the two friends. Perhaps this is the point, but still it makes little sense. Emotionally Flashbacks is affecting, but ultimately it lacks spark and drive.
January 24, 2009
Joe Scot is a washed up Hollywood star wasting away on sex, booze and drugs in his oceanfront house. His agent thinks Scot's career is finished and dumps him during a lunch meeting. Processing the news of the sudden death of Boots, a friend he hasn't seen since leaving England, Scot recalls the summer when his childhood ended. The scenes involving Joe and the two loves of his teenage life are the best moments in the movie. There is a haunting, nostalgic quality to those moments that works really well. Daniel Craig adds plenty of charisma and gravitas to the role of Joe in the present day, while Harry Eden convincingly plays Joe as a teenager. Writer/director Baillie Walshe, in his feature film directorial debut, does an impressive job of enriching to a seemingly simple story with plenty of warmth, tenderness and sensitive attention to detail.
December 10, 2008
Beautiful character study even though the premise of a spoiled drug addicted star returning home has been used before. Daniel craig shows his range and his future should hold more than just Bond movies. Lets hope he chooses his films wisely as then we will all benefit
December 9, 2008
A must see movie with good plot, great cast, brilliant acting, talented filmmakers, beautiful film setting and fabulous movie soundtrack (my favorite is 'Sons Of' by Scott Walker). A 'very good' movie should convey to the viewers about important realities in life; and should be able to offer uplifting themes. The filmmakers of this movie delivered all these criteria with ease. I'm still thinking about this movie, even after watching it for the fourth time. I would have to purchase the movie so I can see it again and again; plus listen to the movie soundtrack as much as I want.

I read a number of negative reviews about this movie before I rented it; and I don't understand what the negativity was all about. I'd say never read critics' reviews, just go see the movie. This movie definitely has a lot of substance! Kudos to Baillie Walsh, Daniel Craig and the rest of the 'brilliant' cast in sharing with us the viewers such a memorable film.
½ December 5, 2008
Not his best film, but nice to see him in a non-action role. (And there is a yummy nude scene at the beginning! - He has an arse you could just bite.) Ahem anyway as the title implies this is told in flashback form so more than half the movie is Harry Eden playing a young Joe and telling the stroy of how he got to be such an unlikeable bastard by the point we meet him in the movie. O.K. plot, but fairly seethrough.
November 24, 2008
something i wouldn't expect to see Daniel Craig in. a nice lil flick about a "done" movie star who remembers his childhood buddy, triggering a long flashback to 1970's england. the ending feels a bit unfinished, but it' s a qwirky little film with good actors, FANTASTIC designs, and tons of male butts.
April 28, 2014
Oh I loved it. go to hell with your underdeveloped script.
½ March 4, 2013
There's no reason to know this unknown Daniel Craig drama, so off you go, then.
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