Flashbacks of a Fool

2008

Flashbacks of a Fool

Critics Consensus

Despite Daniel Craig's earnest efforts, Flashbacks of a Fool suffers from an ambitious but underdeveloped script.

38%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,569
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Movie Info

Having squandered his stint in the spotlight on hard drugs and reckless sex, washed-up Hollywood has-been Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) reflects on the summer of innocence and tragedy that would alter the course of his life after receiving news that his childhood best friend has suddenly died. As he makes his way back to the quiet English seaside village of his childhood in order to attend the funeral, he finds his journey into the past becoming a journey of both redemption and self-discovery as well. Oliver Twist star Harry Eden plays the young version of Scott in a drama also featuring Olivia Williams, Claire Forlani, and Eve. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast

Daniel Craig
as Joe Scot
Harry Eden
as Young Joe Scot
Helen McCrory
as Peggy Tickell
Jodhi May
as Evelyn Adams
Olivia Williams
as Grace Scot
Eve
as Ophelia Franklin
Miriam Karlin
as Mrs. Rogers
Claire Forlani
as Ruth Davies
Felicity Jones
as Young Ruth Davies
Keeley Hawes
as Jesse Scott
Emilia Fox
as Sister Jean
Mark Strong (II)
as Mannie Miesel
James D'Arcy
as Jack Adams
Alfie Allen
as Kevin Hubble
Max Deacon
as Boots McKay
Jodie Tomlinson
as Jane Adams
Mia Clifford
as Young Jesse Scot
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Critic Reviews for Flashbacks of a Fool

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (13)

  • Whiile pic doesn't exactly feel like a vanity project, its weak script might have kept it forever in development hell if debutant writer-helmer Baillie Walsh weren't the topliner's good buddy.

    Oct 18, 2008
  • The bizarre secret isn't nearly interesting enough to justify the long buildup to it, and since it amounts to bad luck it doesn't really reveal anything about the actor, anyway.

    Oct 17, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Without Daniel Craig's 007-enhanced profile, it's unlikely that Flashbacks of a Fool would have appeared anywhere except the Netflix queues of his most rabid fans.

    Oct 17, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • Craig's shaken-but-not-stirred charisma makes the most of an underwritten part, but the movie nearly flat-lines when the actor's not onscreen, which is often.

    Oct 16, 2008 | Full Review…
  • While the dialogue is often hackneyed and full of rushed backstory (not enough flashbacks, evidently), the cinematography excels, particularly the chiaroscuro interiors.

    Oct 15, 2008 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

    Anna King

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's like an awkward (and how could it not be awkward?) marriage of The Cement Garden and Beaches; an intriguing bit of driftwood, an exotic wreck.

    Apr 18, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

    Guardian
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Flashbacks of a Fool

  • Jul 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.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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
    Tired of P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 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.
    Jonny C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 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.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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