7 January 2005 | amynewton
Kevin Spacey's tribute to Bobby Darin
"Beyond the Sea" is Kevin Spacey's musical biography of Bobby Darin's life. Spacey stars, writes and directs. Most of the major players in the movie are still living and support the project.
Bobby Darin's story is a compelling one. He was born into difficult circumstances, suffered from poor health all of his life, was extraordinarily talented, and he died young.
"Beyond the Sea" is a beautifully layered film. Kevin Spacey uses some very interesting "point of view" methods to tell his story and he does so without overwhelming the viewer. He pays tribute to the big musicals without being sugary. He avoids cliché and tells Darin's story without being trite.
Bobby Darin's music is dynamic and diverse. He had a gift for song and delighted in sharing it with the world. Kevin Spacey genuinely admires Darin's talent and delights in sharing his own gifts with the world in tribute to Darin.
Kevin Spacey's acting ability is perfectly showcased here. His talent as a director is remarkable. His storytelling is strong and moving without being pushy or maudlin. He is honest in his depiction of Darin as both arrogant and sympathetic. Spacey's singing is surprisingly good. He does not insist he is Bobby Darin, he merely asks us to accept his portrayal of a great vocalist as accurate. Spacey manages to reveal the enormity of his own talent without being vain.
"Beyond the Sea" draws attention to Darin's rich and varied legacy. He was a prolific songwriter, a master showman (the only performer Sammy Davis Jr. would not follow), a successful popular recording artist and an accomplished actor. "Beyond the Sea" reveals the enormity of Spacey's talent and leaves him with a legacy that is as impressive as Darin's.