An interesting one, this. It’s a film starring Daniel Craig as Joe, who is an actor in Los Angeles, not taking care of his life or his work. Drinking too much and taking drugs all the time, alienating his friends, losing acting chances. He gets a trigger for reflecting on how things were and missed opportunities when news of the death of his childhood best-friend reaches him.
Joe is not a character we really empathise with because he doesn’t show any remorse or regret for treating everybody badly (the present day Joe at least) and he doesn’t appear to evolve at all throughout the film either – he starts his journey in the same place that he finishes it as far as I can tell.
So far so bland then, but the film hinges around a piece of music (‘If There Is Something’ by Roxy Music) and the two scenes in different time periods that utilise it. Felicity Jones plays a young Ruth who gets the young Joe to sing and dance along to the song and she steals the show when she’s on screen. The follow-up of the story in the present day is another moving scene and the song will stick with you for a very long time afterwards, especially if it’s one you hadn’t heard before (as in my case).
It’s a powerful combination of song and images and to be honest with a 7 minute song and the material that the film covers, I suspect it would have made a great retrospective music video for the song, but as the two high peaks in nearly two hours of a largely unengaging script it doesn’t quite cut the mustard.
2 on 5
Director: Baillie Walsh
Starring: Daniel Craig, Felicity Jones, Harry Eden, Max Deacon, Jodhi May, Claire Forlani
UK release: 18th April 2008