19 April 2008 | robhastings1000
There is nothing foolish about this film.
Although Flashbacks of a Fool is Daniel Craig's pet project he's the film's executive producer as well as its star it actually contains surprisingly little of the blonde hunk (though for the ladies out there, you do, admittedly, get to see his bum).
Craig plays Joe Scott, a movie star who has plenty of money and sexual satisfaction in his life, one which - when he is not indulging in coke-addled rumpy pumpy at least - is mostly spent looking out to the sea from his minimalist cliff-top pad.
Yet he has no real friends and seemingly no real future "there's no role for you ANYWHERE," his agent tells Joe, a moment after he has seen his client throw his prized mobile phone out of a restaurant window.
As Joe begins to wonder what has happened to his life, we are taken back to his adolescent days of first love on the quiet English seaside, to discover what this Brit has in fact been trying to hide from with a life of debauchery and excess in LA.
Even a fan of this film should be able see why some might find it slow and slightly dull, as it does rely on the viewer sharing in a sense of glory in the mystical power of great records, the tragic romance of nostalgia and regret, and the theme of washed-up stardom.
Perhaps that provides limited scope for the film to garner a wide audience, but for those who can find true enjoyment from subtle portrayals of youth and humanity as much as from the more obvious merits of rapid plot progression that will matter little. The direction is superb, the script never feels rushed, and the wistful tone of someone looking back to their yesterdays to get on with their today is rare in its realisation of artistic vision.
There's no big finale, but that's not to say that the conclusion is anything less than perfect in its mood and its timing. A literate film that is there to relish on a quiet afternoon, Flashbacks of a Fool feels more typical of a book by Ian McEwan (though thankfully it bears little in common to the cinematic version of Atonement) than a film starring the current Bond. It could also have you listening to Roxy Music for the rest of your weekend, even if you've never before had the urge to sing along to Bryan Ferry in the bath - a pleasing added bonus.
There is nothing foolish about this film watch it accordingly.