So, I’m a bit of a fan of Jeff Buckley. Okay, I fucking love Jeff Buckley. So when I heard they were making a biopic about him a while back I was horrified. It just seemed ridiculous. How anyone could capture Jeff Buckley was beyond me.
But somehow, they totally pulled it off in Greetings from Tim Buckley. They did a smart thing – focusing on one event in Jeff’s life to give us an idea of his life. What the film really does is explore’s the relationship between Jeff and his father Tim Buckley, a folk singer from the 60s. So all we see is Jeff on the brink of deciding to start doing his own stuff. He’s performing at a tribute for his estranged father who has died.
If they had opted for the birth-to-death kind of biopic, I think the movie would have been terrible. Just painful and preachy and melodramatic.
I’m not sure it’s a movie for everyone. In fact, I’d venture to say you might have to be a fan of Jeff Buckley to really appreciate it. There are some great little bits in the movie where you can see Jeff creating songs he’s known for, a big scene with “Grace“. Whether fictionalized or true or something in between, it’s like being a fly on the wall as you see the birth of one of the most beautiful songs.
In a way, it’s kind of an origin story.
I had serious doubts about Penn Badgley portraying Jeff but the fact is, he killed it. He performed the songs you see him singing and while it’s not a perfect imitation, it’s eerie. And makes me want Penn Badgley to make music at some point.
If you’re a fan of Jeff Buckley or Penn Badgley or music or you like quiet little indie flicks, boom, do it.
***** stars (I know, right? That doesn’t happen often.)