“Born To Be Blue”: Chet Baker re-imagined and revisited

An outstanding Ethan Hawke performance

“Born To Be Blue”: Chet Baker re-imagined and revisited

Chet Baker remains to this day a synonymous of cool, regardless of his ups and downs and addictions, it is one of the few jazz names that were able to cross the line from Jazz to pop and his music, style and looks remains as fresh as they were when he first achieved popularity back in the 1950’s. This biopic, which is semi-factual, meaning there are actual events from the life of Chet Baker dramatized on it, but also a big chunk of fiction that are a composite of several different real events such as his relationship with the character Jane, portrayed by Carmen Ejogo,  a composite of the different women with whom Baker had relationships. Ethan Hawke embodies Chet Baker as close as it can gets, though Ethan is older than what Chet would be back in the late 60’s where most of the movie takes place, his physical similarities to the jazz legend help the movie to achieve a reality factor to his acting despite the fictional facts (somehow similar to Val Kilmer portraying Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s “The Doors) . He speaks, moves and behaves like Baker., a special note for  the very accurate wardrobe used in the movie, particularly by Chet Baker’s character.

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The movie starts in Italy (where Baker was arrested in 1960 for drug charges) in 1966 when someone from Hollywood comes to take him back to the U.S to make a movie based on his life. It is all reality meets fiction, as it follows Baker trying to re-ash his career like he actually did in the late 60’s, his struggle to be accepted back by the Jazz community,  his heavy heroin addiction that leads him to be beaten up by some drug dealers who leave him with no teeth and broken jaws forcing him to take a job at a service station pumping gas. Eventually Baker re-merges as he actually did but again, losing the ones close to him due to his heroin addiction.  The movie is brilliantly directed, has beautiful photography, a good portrait on Chet Baker as, although sometimes crude and cruel, let’s the audience knows what Chet, the tortured artist, really loved and praised above all: the music and to play music.,”Born To Be Blue” it’s good introduction to his music and legend and highly recommended.

Origin: Canada – UK
Released: 2016
Directed by: Robert Budreau
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie

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