Born to Be Blue review – captures Chet Baker’s spirit

Born To Be Blue

Purists might disagree, but you could argue that this reimagining of the 1960s comeback of jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker is closer in spirit to the riffing, improvisational nature of his music than a straight biopic could ever be.

Ethan Hawke plays Baker at the frayed end of his addiction in a fictionalised alternative reality. The film explores a love affair and a hard-fought battle to get back on stage after an incident featuring a pair of irate drug dealers threatens to end his career. The period detail is richly textured; however the music – Hawke attempts to recreate Baker’s laconic vocal style – seems a little thin and unpersuasive.

Powered by article was written by Wendy Ide, for The Observer on Sunday 24th July 2016 08.00 Europe/London

Watch the trailer for Born to Be Blue. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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