Greetings From Tim Buckley

Just home from the TIFF screening of Greetings from Tim Buckley. Went in knowing very little, other than that Penn Badgley was playing Jeff Buckley, and came out so pleased I saw it. Though I have a passing knowledge of his music and story, I’m by no means familiar, so the question of whether Penn’s version of Jeff was ‘accurate’ was totally irrelevant to me — and that ignorance let me just focus on the story of this strange wonderful kid standing in the shadow of his legendary singer/songwriter father.

Of note…

The music — so much of it, so so good; it often felt like a concert film full of real musicians. (Fingers crossed for a soundtrack.)

The female characters — instead of the usual pretty-girl-love-interest-counterpart to Jeff, we got Allie (Imogen Poots who, at the screening, looked so remarkably different than she did onscreen I truly did not know what role she’d played). Allie is strange, and captivating, and complicated; you get why Jeff’s taken by her. It’s so rare to see a character like that — unpredictable.

And Penn Badgley’s performance. There was no Dan Humphrey there, no Penn Badgley there — it was just his Jeff Buckley. Like with the rest of the characters, his portrayal avoided sentimentality; instead it felt messy and real and honest. While there are big memorable scenes — the record store scene got applause during the screening — what hit me most was a conversation about his father, Jeff squirming opposite Allie on a train ride. There was a complexity there, an unsettled mashup of conflicting emotions, that reminded me of conversations I’ve had with friends who’ve lost charismatic parents.

I left the theatre feeling (somewhat oddly) proud of Penn Badgley. It’s a courageous performance — in a film that explores the courage it takes to perform. A solid movie.


One thought on “Greetings From Tim Buckley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s