Flashbacks of a Fool

The Fool? Daniel Craig! ...although I forgave him as soon as I saw him in the altogether (!) in the tawdry opening sequence of this effective little piece. He plays an aging Hollywood star adrift in a sea of drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. His efficient and sassy housekeeper is played by Eve ("Barbershop" and LOTS of TV) who manages to keep him together despite his lifestyle. She resigns regularly and he coaxes her to stay with generous pay raises. It is interesting that Craig has somehow managed to sandwich this between his James Bond commitments and other commendable work ("Defiance" and "The Invasion"). In fact, he also served here as Executive Producer.

Neophyte writer/director Baillie Walsh has only a few music videos to his credit so it is fun to see how his script includes a young music video director who is planning his first feature film. The next actor to impress me (after Mr. C.) was the ever-evolving chameleon, Mark Strong ("Body of Lies" and "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"). I had to go back (God bless DVDs!) and make sure he really was that Hollywood agent! How does he DO that?!

Our Fool receives a phone call at his Malibu home telling him that a childhood friend has died unexpectedly. This shock triggers the eponymous flashbacks and it's interesting to note that Craig isn't on camera after the first few sequences, until the very end. Our primary focus is on his teenage self, effectively played by the yummy young Harry Eden who has spent most of his past eight years on the British telly.

I found this film to be a little slow, but considering the topic (the confusion and catastrophes of adolescence), not distractingly so. The supporting cast is marvelous and the soundtrack is great.

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