1971. David Bowie (Johnny Flynn) has delighted in moderate success with the release of Space Oddity, but is yet to achieve worldwide fame. His record company arranges a tour of the United States with press agent Ron Oberman (Marc Maron); along the method, Bowie vies for the cover of Rolling Stone and comes to grips with his ever-changing identity.
As a pre-Ziggy Bowie, Johnny Flynn is wise casting on paper. Its not Flynns fault, lumbered with a script that clumsily tries to grapple with Bowies limitless ch-ch-changes.
Keeping real to his wishes, the Bowie estate has obstructed the filmmakers from using any of the artists back catalogue. Which feels like a quite obvious omission. The recent trend of jukebox musicals has yielded combined success, however a minimum of they tended to have a few bangers on the soundtrack to keep your interest; viewing this, you d believe Bowie was simply a middling covers singer with a penchant for terrible mimes.
David Bowie (Johnny Flynn) has delighted in moderate success with the release of Space Oddity, however is yet to attain international fame. His record company arranges a tour of the US with press agent Ron Oberman (Marc Maron); along the method, Bowie vies for the cover of Rolling Stone and grapples with his ever-changing identity.
David Bowie never ever even permitted for a composed biography of his life, let alone a cinematic biopic. (Todd Haynes 1998 drama Velvet Goldmine, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bowie-esque glam rocker Brian Slade, is about as close as anyones got.) Stardust is the first to make a proper stab at a picture of the eternally interesting artist, however it undoubtedly shows up under a cloud of unauthorised controversy.
For a movie about such a famously creative artist, you do not get a sense of that imagination here, either in the characterisation of Bowie, or the film itself. It feels strangely enough flat, with a visual combination severely lacking the colour and trigger of Aladdin Sanes lightning bolt. “Rock star, or somebody impersonating a rock star,” provides Bowie at one point in the movie. “Whats the distinction?” Unfortunately, the distinction feels quite considerable here.
For a film about such a notoriously imaginative artist, you dont get a sense of that imagination here.
Its not Flynns fault, lumbered with a script that clumsily tries to grapple with Bowies endless ch-ch-changes. (It likewise falls into the biopic trap of obviously coming up with song origins, like the scene where Bowie fulfills a lady called Jeanie– a tiresome nod-and-wink to the tune The Jean Genie.).
As a pre-Ziggy Bowie, Johnny Flynn is clever casting on paper. In movies like Beast, he has actually shown a sort of extra-terrestrial charm, and in his other profession as the diva of Johnny Flynn & & The Sussex Wit, he has actually shown musical chops. But he feels miscast here, too distant from Bowies minor, androgynous frame, and never ever quite convincing as a sonic genius on the cusp of international fame.
A by-the-numbers biopic that does an injustice to its star and subject, and sorely missing a killer soundtrack. View The Man Who Fell To Earth rather.