Greetings From Tim Buckley (2013)
Greetings From Tim Buckley Trailers & Photos
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as Jeff Buckley
as Young Linda
as Janine Nichols
as Young Lee
as Audience Member
as Gary Lucas
as Square Young Man
as House Band Guitar
as House Band Cello Pla...
as House Band Bass Play...
as House Band Keyboard ...
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Critic Reviews for Greetings From Tim Buckley
Penn Badgley delivers a pivotal performance as the younger Buckley, coming off with just enough pretentiousness and attitude.
Algrant's desire to reunite father and son through music is admirable, but "Greetings from Tim Buckley" is too meandering and ethereal to have any lasting impact.
Badgley does a credible take on the signature falsetto that Jeff would later bring to his only album, Grace ...
The concert may have seen the reluctant birth of a second-generation rock star, but this movie, if nothing else, is a similarly suitable showcase for its own leading man.
In paying homage to two iconic performers, he's given a former small-screen star the chance to announce his own cinematic arrival.
Audience Reviews for Greetings From Tim Buckley
Oh, Jeff Buckley was indeed the spitting, '90s-esque interpretation of his father, and I've always had enough trouble calling him "TimBuckTwo" without him doing a set of his father's songs, but I think I'm going to back off of that, as cheesy puns is not helping ease the suffering of either the Mali city of Timbuktu or, for that matter, the Buckley family. Look, let's just call it as it is, "Greetings from Tim Buckley... and Beyond the Grave"! Oh, come on, it's hard to not think of that, considering that this film is about that neat little 1991 performance in which Jeff Buckley sang in the place of his father, which is ironic in retrospect, as Jeff didn't live that much longer than his father. Ah, the tragedies of Tim and Jeff Buckley are considerable, as both of these musicians were artists who never quite saw full recognition... so it's only fitting that this film also be so low in profile that no one is keeping up with it. Shoot, this film makes the Buckleys look like pop sensations, in terms of popularity, because no one is talking about this project. Well, I can't say I'm too surprised, because this film is evidently so uninteresting that I had to resort to making an unbelievably bad Timbuktu pun because I can't think of much to talk about in regards to this film. No, folks, I like this film and find it adequately intriguing, even if it doesn't offer much material to talk about, with what topics of discussion there are often being not all that flattering to the final product.
The film interprets potentially refreshing subject matter with hardly anything new in the way of material, which often devolves into bona fide trappings which betray the sense of realism of this subject matter with a sense of cinematic manufacturing to storytelling. This sense of manufacturing isn't exactly helped by moments in characterization that are hard to fully buy, from such questionable scenes as an obnoxiously fluff one involving a mocking singing session by Jeff Buckley in the middle of a record store, to histrionics to what depth there is to this drama. Perhaps the histrionic approach to actual scenarios would feel more genuine if this film felt more fleshed out, as immediate development is lacking and gradual exposition is thin, as if writers Daniel Algrant, Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel expect you to already feel associated with recognizable real-life figures. To be such a meditative character study, this film boasts a sense of underdevelopment that grows all the more glaring the more storytelling wastes opportunities for characterization on mere meanderings, which bloat the film with draggy, maybe even aimlessly repetitious material that is bland enough without a certain directorial coldness to the air. When Algrant, as director, doesn't liven things up to a certain degree with a still rather dry folksy soundtrack, his storytelling gets to be subdued to the point of being kind of cold, if not dull, though not exactly to the point of abandoning a perhaps overly weighty sense of ambition. The ambition charms, of course, and often ignites true inspiration, but the desire to make an ethereal character study gets to be carried away, plaguing momentum with a limpness that is exacerbated by some questionable and undercooked writing elements, until the final product falls as underwhelming. Regardless, this film certainly endears, ultimately engaging adequately, no matter how far it falls shy of potential, which is very much there.
The film is backed by a minimalist, but still interesting story concept that meditates both on how Jeff Buckley lived his life and interpreted his father, and on the youth of Tim Buckley himself, thus making for an intriguing idea that is betrayed by flawed scripting, which still has its fair share of strengths. Daniel Algrant's, Emma Sheanshang's and David Brendel's writing is formulaic and uneven in pacing, with limited expository depth and even some histrionics, or at least questionable aspects, but it's still reasonably comfortable enough in its structuring of the flashback, Tim Buckley segments to avoid focal inconsistencies, while keeping things going more with plenty of sharp dialogue that sustains a degree of liveliness. Less lively and more thoughtful is Algrant's direction, which may often be blandly ethereal, but attracts with a subtly handsome visual style, in addition to enough genuineness to the thoughtful storytelling to draw a degree of resonance. Of course, the direction may be most engaging when it utilizes the predominantly Tim Buckley soundtrack, whose tracks are rather dry by their own right, but genuinely written and performed folk classics that add to the heart of this film, as well as some entertainment value. Really, there's just not that much to compliment here, but the subtle storytelling strengths have a certain charm about them, as well as some effectiveness, though not as much as the performances. Granted, the performers only have so much to work with, but they succeed greatly in complimenting the human core of this factual character study, and that especially goes for leading man Penn Badgley, who captures the dry charm of a subdued, but still approachable Jeff Buckley, until incorporating some genuine emotive layering to capture the depths that Buckley was well-known for as a sharp, but flawed artist. Badgley is among the more worthy sellers of worthy subject matter, but he's not the only inspired force in a flawed, but heartfelt drama that engages enough to do justice to the late artists it pays tribute to, even if it does only so much justice to its full potential.
In the end, formulaic and sometimes rather histrionic, as well as undercooked and draggy, maybe even near-dully dry storytelling betray the full potential of promising subject matter and render the final product underwhelming, but the point is that this is a worthy story which is done enough justice by some written and directorial sharpness, a solid soundtrack and engaging performances - particularly the one by leading man Penn Badgley - for "Greetings from Tim Buckley" to stand as a charming and sometimes portrait on a well-known estranged father and son in the folk music business.
2.5/5 - Fair
A Tim Buckley/Jeff Buckley movie with numerous performances, yet no hint of "Morning Dew", Hallelujah", or "So Real". .. The three best songs of their combined careers. I guess the producers of this film didn't see financial justification in paying for the musical rights of any of these three songs to make a good movie out of this mess.
Don't waste your time like I did.
★★★ (out of four)
About a year ago I became a little obsessed with both the Buckley's. I had been a fan of Jeff for over a decade, but started getting into Tim's music. I read the joint biography "Dream Brother" and found it quite fascinating.
The film "Greetings From Tim Buckley" does a pretty good job of capturing the feelings Jeff had for his father. His animosity and competitive struggle comes through and Penn Badgely gives a pretty good performance as Jeff. It's even more impressive when I learned he did his own singing for the role.
The plot centers on the true event of the 1991 tribute concert that was arranged to honor the prolific singer/songerwriter from the 1960's - Tim Buckley. Tim died of a heroin overdose in 1975 and been vacant in his son Jeff's life.
Jeff reluctantly agrees to perfom some of his Dad's songs, but he is torn between the opportunity for himself to shine as a musician and the disappointment he feels for the man he is to honor. It's a defining moment for Jeff. Of course everyone pretty much knows of the tragic drowning of Jeff just a few years later.
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