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:: Beyond The Sea

It's good to see the popularity of the music biography. It's been a growing aspect in films over the past few years, and it provides method actors with good opportunities for gaining accolades, as long as the performances do justice to those portrayed.

In this case, Kevin Spacey took it upon himself to portray the late Bobby Darin in an ambitious effort. He shows great drive and ambition to wow his audience with a riveting and enjoyable film. The passion that is felt for Darin is most evident with Spacey writing, directing, and starring. The life of Walden Robert Cassotto (Bobby Darin) is one of growing from early hardship to becoming a 1950s/1960s pop idol. He had a string of hits and went on to pursue a film career.

The film takes us on this journey which included his rheumatic fever as a boy. His mother Polly (Brenda Blethyn) wanted to ensure that her son, who was told he may not live beyond his teenage years, had a love of music that would keep him ticking along in sheer enjoyment.

Darin's marriage to screen starlet Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth) is explored to some degree. Bosworth is radiant in the role and she continues to shine as a maturing performer. The relationship forms the basis for the latter half of the film as Darin's career started to falter. There was social isolation and illness, which ultimately resulted in his tragically premature death as age 37.

The art direction and music sequences are well enlightened by Spacey and his colleagues. Perhaps what is missing is a deeper insight into the Darin persona and his relationships, but, as an old-fashioned style musical, fans should be delighted by Spacey's portrayal and of the supporting cast. Of those, we note the worthwhile contributions of John Goodman, Bob Hoskins, and Greta Scacchi.

You get the feeling that Spacey's “labour of love” was made as a personal tribute and to get the message across of how dynamic a singer Bobby Darin was.

All in all, Kevin Spacey shows tremendous energy in acting and directing. His singing is very good and the showmanship qualities are very evident.