Not Fade Away Reviews
Douglas and his mates, Eugene (the great Jack Huston of HBO's Boardwalk Empire) and Wells (Will Brill) face off for the attentions of Grace (Bella Heathcote, beautiful and based on Chase's sweetheart, Denise, and they're still married), all the while touchingly, and sometimes hilariously, making preparations for what they see as impending fame, but it never comes. While home from college, Douglas clashes with his square father (played by a superb James Gandolfini) who despises his hair and choice in shoes. While at a restaurant later, Dad lets spill a an affair and possible terminal illness, and that's when father and son make a riveting connection in the film's best scene. Chase is a natural with actors. Things stall when Not Fade Away has too much going on, and sometimes one subplot over takes another when it shouldn't. Chase is so determined to pack in so many personal moments the film begins to feel episodic, to its detriment. The music choices are top notch of course, courtesy of Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band. A wonderful scene has Douglas and Grace watching Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece Blow Up and Douglas complain about the absence of music in a scene set in a park. 'The trees are the music,' Grace tells him. Grace gets it. It's the notes and secrets that lie between words and spaces and music that makes art live and breathe. Chase knows this too. His excellent, potent debut. With Not Fade Away, the title taken from a Buddy Holly classic, Chase shows, at 67, he's got a bright future in film. He's a filmmaker worth following anywhere.