Flashbacks of a Fool Reviews
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...
Length: 100 minutes
Review: 8 out of 10
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.
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.
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.