Daniel Craig delivers a startling performance as Joe Scott, a washed-up Hollywood star adrift in a haze of sex, drugs and squandered fame. But when he receives news of the sudden death of his childhood best friend, Joe fla... more »shes back to his younger self (played by Harry Eden of Oliver Twist) in his small English seaside village and the summer of innocence and tragedy that would change his life forever. Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense), Claire Forlani (CSI:NY) and Eve co-star in this powerful drama about love, loss and one man?s journey to redemption, executive produced by Daniel Craig and featuring songs by Scott Walker, David Bowie and Roxy Music.« less
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 6/28/2011...
can't quite figure out why most people liked this film. I am a Daniel Craig fan, but this one was a huge disappointment. Did not even finish watching it.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
At times it takes a knell...
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Films of reflection are too few and often they resort to tales of climbing to a summit only to gaze back at the shadows never cast in the greedy race for the top and end in tragedy. FLASHBACKS OF A FOOL suggests, by its title, that the story may be different, that there may be some redemption at the core of an abusive life.
Writer/director Baillie Walsh sets his story in opening frames of intense sexual, drug accompanied debauchery. But as the credits fade, the lead character Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) faces a morning of hung over reality. A wealthy Hollywood star whose lifestyle has hastened his aging, Joe is 'managed' by the stern Ophelia (Eve) who is tiring of Joe's wasted lifestyle. Her warnings, as well as Joe's agent's confrontation that Joe is too old looking for a new screenplay, is compounded by a telephone call that Joe's boyhood friend Boots (Max Deacon) has suddenly died, leaving Joe's old first girlfriend Ruth (Claire Forlani) an early widow. Depressed and drunk Joe walks his beach and reflects on his youth. The 'flashback' tales us to Joe's teenage years (the young Joe is Harry Eden) with Boots as his closest friend and Ruth (Felicity Jones), the girl Joe craves. But hormones rule and Joe is an easy prey for his married next door neighbor: during one of their trysts a tragedy occurs that results in Joe's fleeing home for the 'successful' yet empty life he finds in Hollywood.
At the request of Joe's mother (Olivia Williams) he flies back to England where he is forced to confront the early damage he caused in the lives of his family and friends. Daniel Craig and Harry Eden are excellent in their mirrored roles of the young and the older Joe. In fact there is not a weak member of this fine British cast. Though the story takes place in England the film was shot in South Africa (cinematographer John Mathieson) and the rickety beach houses on the small bay where Boots and Joe spend their time is picturesque and adds the right sense of isolation to the story. At 114 minutes the film goes on a bit too long with areas for editing a bit too obvious. But the overall effect of FLASHBACKS OF A FOOL is a satisfying journey through a memory that holds a light to the incidents of youth that can alter too many lives if not mended. Grady Harp, November 08"
THE CRYING MAN
Michael C. Smith | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is a shot in "Flashbacks of a Fool" where Daniel Crag is coming down the stairs in the elegant sterility of his Malibu beach house where he stands momentarily in front of a famous photography of himself from Sam Taylor-Wood's Crying Men series. The portrait is so arresting, real tears sparkle in the ravaged eyes of Mr. Craig as he tires to shield his face from the camera. This juxtaposition of the portrait with the manic cut off and out of control movie star, Joe Scott, whom he is playing, says volumes about the film and its theme as well as something about its gifted star.
Director-writer Baillie Walsh has made a gem of a small character driven film that is both deeply meaningful to him and moving to the viewer. Kudos to him for bringing this his vision to the screen and to producer Craig for lending his star clout, which got this film made.
John Matheison's cinematography is lush and richly fills the screen,. The score by Richard Hartley informs the scenes without overwhelming them. And the editing by Sturan Clay is well done and seamless.
Wonderful performances are turned in by the entire cast with stand outs by Olivia William, Ophelia Franklin (brilliantly low key performance) and felicity Jones. Yet with a plethora of wonders in this film, great screenplay, perfect score with fine song choices and lush cinematography the heart and soul of this story belongs to two men.
Harry Eden and Daniel Craig who play the role of young and middle-aged Joe. Mr. Eden is not only a perfect physical choice to play a younger version of Daniel Craig but he has an amazingly open and stunning talent that matches his older costar. When he is on the screen you can look at nothing else. He knows how to project the inner feelings of the character straight out though his laser eyes and into the soul of the camera. A young star on the rise indeed and one can only hope that he will continue in the film business.
Daniel Craig again brings his unique talents as an actor to the table as the fading film star whom "Millions of women want" yet who is a lost golden boy sliding into the oblivion of drugs and denial. His appearance in small films such as this after his international success in "Casino Royale" shows that he is about the work and substance and we can cheer him for it. He is the best actor of his generation, and one of such a range that it leaves one to wonder what will he do next. Behind the most famous blue eyes in film there is such an amazing creature that embodies every emotion from molten rage to the softest tenderest heart. It is our luck and his blessing that he is in the right business and has the talent and courage to let it all out on the screen.
V. Marshall | North Fork, CA USA | 11/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am always intrigued when actors like Daniel Craig can go from playing blockbuster roles (James Bond) back to portraying the vulnerable man. In this film Craig manages to span a range of emotion within the has-been actor he portrays and it certainly makes for an interesting film.
This movie is darkly captivating in ways that are often missed in the more popular films with mega-stars. It begins with the superficial surface living of an aging Hollywood star who is obviously succumbing to the excesses of his fame. Craig appears far from his Bond role here. Pop-star Eve makes an appearance as the woman who puts together the pieces of Craig's life and allows him to maintain some semblance of respect. But it isn't until Craig's character hits bottom that we get to the true meat of this picture. In flashbacks we discover how this creature of Hollywood fame was created and suddenly the excesses and egocentricities are allowed. Tragedy and lost love surround our character's younger years (played brilliantly by Harry Eden). It's a coming of age story that ends with surprising results despite having met the outcome of a youth spent so self-absorbed.
I have to say that the first part of this film all but bored me, mostly because I abhorred the overly narcissistic character that we are first greeted by. I didn't really care how the man was created and I almost didn't stick around to find out. But to the writer's credit I am glad I did. The early story is beautiful although horribly sad. Craig does an excellent job in his role being both vulnerable and subdued. I was not expecting the raw sentiment so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this film after such a shaky start. I confess it isn't my favorite but it is well worth seeing for the consciousness it provokes. "
A quiet, touching story
M. Sue | New York, NY | 12/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some reviewers pointed out that not much happens in this film, which is true. But it's a quiet, touching story that looks back at what happened in Joe Scott's youth, which partly explains how he became the washed up, junkie Hollywood has-been that we see in the first part of the film. The flashback story is compelling & well-acted by the young actors, especially Harry Eden who plays the younger Joe. The music is great, with the Roxy Music song providing a fitting backdrop for the story of loss - of innocence, youth, & love.
Daniel Craig shows that he can be a fine nuanced actor as well as the suave, killing machine he portrays as James Bond. There is a part at the end which made me wonder. When the adult Ruth bursts into tears after reading Joe's note, was it because she had been in love with Joe all along, or because it took her back to her youth?"
This Film Will Transport You
givpilot | Groton, MA USA | 11/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Daniel Craig, of recent James Bond fame, produced and stars in this wonderful new film. Flashbacks of a Fool is perfectly cast and brilliantly acted. The cinematography is outstanding and the film features the music of David Bowie, Scott Walker and Roxy Music. The images and the songs more than draw you into the story - they envelope you.
Craig plays Joe Scot, a self-absorbed Hollywood star lost in a self-created world of sex, drugs and alcohol. When his closet childhood friend dies unexpectedly, Joe finds himself evaluating his own life and what his future may hold. Through a lengthy flashback, the film takes us back to Joe's adolescent years and to a summer spent on a beach that will change his life forever. One cannot escape some of the similarities here with The Summer of `42. It is the events of this particular summer, some 25 years earlier, that have created the Joe Scot that we met at the beginning of the film.
The beauty of the film is not limited to the excellent cinematography, acting and score but also rests with its ability to take each of us back to the events of our youth, the events that shaped who we are today. The film takes us on two journeys, one to the summer of the end of innocence of Joe Scot and one to our own.
This is a film, and an experience, not to be missed."