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Beyond the Sea (2004)

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, more...
Director: Kevin Spacey, Kevin Spacey
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Rating:
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Biopics, British Drama, UK
Running Time: 118 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
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Synopsis
Kevin Spacey serves as both director and star for this biopic based on the life and career of legendary entertainer Bobby Darin, which moves back and forth between his childhood and adult selves to tell the tale of his remarkable life. Born Bobby Cassotto and raised in the Bronx, young Bobby (played as a child by William Ullrich) was raised by his mother, Polly (Brenda Blethyn), his brother-in-law, Charlie (Bob Hoskins), and his sister, Nina (Caroline Aaron). At the age of 15, Bobby contracted a severe case of rheumatic fever, which was expected to take his life; while it left him with a weak heart, Bobby beat the odds and survived. Buoyed by a love of music passed along by his mother, Bobby learned to play several instruments and began singing as he recovered. Displaying a confidence and drive which stopped just short of arrogance, he adopted the stage name Bobby Darin and set his sights on becoming a star. After a string of hits as a rock & roll singer, Darin (played as an adult by Kevin Spacey) takes another gamble, and with the help of manager Steve Blauner (John Goodman) he reinvents himself as a supper-club vocalist in the manner of Frank Sinatra. All the more remarkably, he succeeds, and his swinging version of "Mack the Knife" tops the charts. Now a major singing star, Darin decides to take up acting; on the set of his first movie, he woos his female co-star Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth), and despite the stern objections of her mother (Greta Scacchi), Bobby and Sandra wed. But after a string of successful movies for Dee and hit records and an Oscar nomination for Darin, the shifting tastes of the 1960s throw their careers off-track. Bobby cautiously embraces the new sounds of the day, but his old fans don't want to hear him cover Bob Dylan or the Rolling Stones, while the younger audience isn't interested in his new sound, leaving Darin in a difficult place to make his way back to stardom. Kevin Spacey did his own singing for Beyond the Sea, recreating Bobby Darin's vocal style with uncanny accuracy. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Spacey Loves Darin by talltale June 11, 2005 - 4:41 PM PDT
12345678910
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
"Taylor Hackford's "Ray" got all the press and prizes last year, but Kevin Spacey's BEYOND THE SEA proves even more interesting as a film. Yes, it's got its share of clichés (at times, you'll know what the characters will say far enough in advance to be able to mouth their lines along with them). And yet Spacey as director and actor has captured a life here, and in a manner that offers more than the usual movie bio typicalities.

The director's use of dance and song to create sections of Bobby Darin's life are particularly wonderful (His version of "Beyond the Sea" as a courtship of Sandra Dee is inspired: a lot of fun, a little fantastic, and quite entertaining). Spacey has also assembled a great cast (Goodman, Hoskins, Blethyn, Bosworth, Aaron and more), and they all deliver nicely. While Jamie Foxx lip-synched (and damn well) to Ray Charles, Spacey goes all out as a singer and performer, doing his own music tracks for the film. While critics were divided as to the results, my companion and I both found Spacey marvelous.

I was not a big Darin fan during the singer's heyday, but I must say that seeing this movie has made me at least reconsider his career. And it's made me even more of a Spacey fan. I hope the box-office failure of "Beyond the Sea" doesn't stop this hugely talented guy from continuing to create. Currently, he seems to have fled our shores for legitimate theatre in England. If you have time, watch the interview with Spacey and some of his actors in the DVD extras; its full of more interesting info about the making of the movie.




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