A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin and specifically his relationship with wife Sandra Dee.A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin and specifically his relationship with wife Sandra Dee.A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin and specifically his relationship with wife Sandra Dee.
In answer to some of the standard complaints
(1) If you think Spacey is too old to play this role, you should reconsider what the film is depicting. This film is a retrospective which looks back from the latter part of Darin's career (reminiscent of his self-referential comments in The Bobby Darin Story). He is not supposed to be young. This is also one of the reasons why so much of the narrative keys on his relationship with his younger self embodied by the actor he has picked to play himself in his autobiography.
(2) If you believe Spacey can't sing.... well.... I give up. People tend to have very narrow and hardened opinions about music - regardless of how tone deaf they may be. Spacey may not bring much originality to the singing style of Bobby Darin, but, in my opinion, he pretty much nails Darin's voice and overall style.
(3) The characters are shallow? What film did you watch? OK, Darin lead a charmed existence compared to Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. After all, he never developed a serious drug addiction, nor did he have to go through a painful divorce. And he wasn't blind. The only real tragedy in Bobby's life was being diagnosed with a terminal illness in his early teens, not knowing his parents throughout most of his life, and never living up to his own standards... minor problems compared to the "deeper" ones portrayed in other "more serious" biopics? Ya whatever. Depth does not equal self-destructiveness and depression, IMO.
This film stands as a great achievement for Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth and others. The cast is excellent, and the writing and directing are superb. The music is as entertaining as the action of the narrative, and very well blended into the story. The film achieves a powerful surrealism which is very rare for biopics and has unfortunately been neglected in most contemporary musicals, as it portrays Darin's inner and outer worlds with equal weight. Although the subject matter is very very different, Beyond the Sea's musical method reminded me of the beautiful "Dancer in the Dark".
Darin's story is a story of the profound love, dedication to craft, and the desire to be the best, which allowed a dying man to miraculously prolong his time with us for decades, and way beyond his time of death.
- Jan 7, 2007