BEYOND THE SEA
Kevin Spacey's highly anticipated film is a lovingly crafted account of '50s heartthrob singer and actor Bobby Darin. BEYOND THE SEA steers well clear of most biopic conventions, instead delivering a complex portrait of a gifted performer driven to succeed, following a childhood illness that gave him a life expectancy of just 15 years.
The film effortlessly blends fantasy and reality, past and present, as Bobby struggles to find the best way to tell his story. It begins with his nostalgic childhood memories of being cared for as a sickly child by his loving family in the Bronx, before emerging into his rise to fame with '50s pop signature standards like Splish Splash, Beyond the Sea and Mack the Knife. It continues through his fairy-tale courtship and marriage to Sandra Dee (wonderfully portrayed by Kate Bosworth) under the media's harsh glare, concluding with his soul-searching and ultimately career-destroying days as a morally earnest protestor of the Vietnam War.
Along the way, Spacey's Darin is complemented by an ensemble of terrific actors, including Brenda Blethyn, Bob Hoskins, John Goodman and-as Darin's tragic sister-Caroline Aaron. Greta Scacchi is also delightful as Sandra Dee's domineering stage mother.
A true labor of love for the director over many years, BEYOND THE SEA admirably showcases Spacey's impressive singing and dancing, as he brings to life a performer who had more hits in more genres than any other musical act aside from Elvis Presley and Ray Charles. BEYOND THE SEA will have you snappin' and tappin' long after the lights have come up.