Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Christine Beamer


Hollywood has finally renewed its love affair with musicals. After the early 1970s, it seemed that directors got tired of adapting musicals to film. But like all good fashion trends, what's old becomes new again, and the result is feel-good musicals like Beyond the Sea.


The movie follows the life of Bobby Darin, a crooner and an American teen idol in the 1950s and '60s. The movie, which is both directed by and stars Kevin Spacey, primarily centers on Darin's music, his family -- especially his wife, Sandra Dee (well acted by Kate Bosworth) -- and his drive to become a star. Rheumatic fever in his youth left Darin's heart weakened permanently, so he tried to accomplish everything he could before his heart gave out at age 36.


Like several other recent movie musicals, Beyond the Sea imagines that Darin is creating a movie about his own life. The film has a prominent fantasy element, as Spacey, 46, plays a man half his age and has conversations with Darin's childhood self (played by William Ullrich). It has wonderful whimsical sequences -- people dancing in the street to Darin's music, Darin's wooing of Dee -- that match Darin's fantastical lyrics and sugary pop. The most impressive part is that Spacey sings all Darin's songs himself, almost daring us to sing along with the infectious melodies.


The movie stands as an affirmation of humanity and poignancy. Bobby Darin overcame daunting obstacles to become, as Darin himself put it, "bigger than Sinatra." The film has garnered criticism for glossing over the problems in Darin's life and in his relationship with Dee, but it is refreshing to see a film that points out problems without beating the audience over the head with them.


The movie's only drawback is the immense amount of time Spacey spends onscreen. Other characters are marginalized in order to let viewers watch Spacey sing another song. The relationship between Dee and Darin could have been deeper -- and more factual (after all, Darin divorced Dee in 1967, a fact conveniently ignored in the movie). Yet adding more elements of Darin's life would have also taken the focus off Darin's music -- and the music is exactly where the focus belongs.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • 'Why Aren't They Digging?'
  • 'Why Aren't They Digging?'

    The family of a man killed by Spokane Police in 2011 is still searching for answers
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • 'Hookerville' Revisited
  • 'Hookerville' Revisited

    Pedestrian bridge's price tag draws fire before city council vote; plus, Washington, Idaho fall short in closing the achievement gap
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Taking a Hike
  • Taking a Hike

    Whether or not they supported the minimum wage hike, local businesses and nonprofits are scrambling to pay for it
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March @ Spokane Convention Center

Mon., Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Christine Beamer

  • Go Gothic

    Drive by the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist some Thursday evening in July and you will surely hear the dulcet tones of bells that appear to be ringing from the very sky. This is the sound of the carillon, a musical instrument loc
    • Jun 29, 2005
  • A Century of Service

    The evidence of their service is everywhere -- look at the daffodils planted all along the Centennial Trail, the Children's Fire Safety House making its rounds to area elementary schools all year, newly painted park benches in Riverfron
    • Jun 2, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Just Say No
  • Just Say No

    Do zero-tolerance drug policies at rave festivals actually make the problem worse?
    • Jul 22, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation