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Review: Beyond the Sea (2004)

Beyond the Sea (2004) 

Directed by: Kevin Spacey

Premise: A biopic of Bobby Darin (Kevin Spacey) that follows him in his rags-to-riches life.

What Works: The film is made by and for Bobby Darin fans. The film plays with the medium, attempting to combine the stage, cinema, and music in much the same way that Darin combined these mediums in his career. Spacey, who co-wrote, acted, produced, and directed this film, chews the scenery while performing Darin’s stage sets. The film is a tribute piece and spends most of its time celebrating Darin’s triumphs.

What Doesn’t: Because Beyond the Sea is a tribute piece, the film avoids Darin’s character flaws. It does address his drive to accomplish more and how that complicated some of his relationships, but there is never any real cost to those actions and the story never gets beyond the typical Hollywood success story. As a result, the film lacks dramatic movement.

DVD extras: Commentary with Kevin Spacey, featurette, Interviews, bonus musical performances by Kevin Spacey.

Bottom Line: Beyond the Sea will appeal to fans of Bobby Darin and similar musicians. It does not paint a sophisticated portrait of the man but it does entertain and is fun.

Episode: #63 (August 7, 2005)