Flashbacks of a Fool (15)

Film

Drama

migrate.42893.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
Rate this
 

Time Out says

Posted: Tue Apr 15 2008

In a scene reminiscent of the ending of Robert Altman’s ‘The Long Goodbye’ – where Sterling Hayden’s suicidal writer strolls out into the sea from his Malibu house – Daniel Craig’s washed-out fortysomething writer, Joe Scott, takes a similarly despairing swim into the Pacific and remembers – in lengthy flashback – his fateful sexual and emotional rites-of-passage 30 years earlier in the glam rock-soundtracked 1970s, in a small seaside town in the south-west of England.

Ex-commercials director Baillie Walsh, in moving country and decade, executes a jarring change of mood, milieu and genre. We are hardly accustomed to his high-tech ’Scope images of the Hollywood elite’s drug- and sex-addled playgrounds, before we’re whisked back to the deceptively snugger, old-fashioned world of this fucked-up career exile’s youth. But it’s hard to read the meaning of his fateful escapades in this world of gaming arcades and rundown beach huts, viewed as they are through the distorting lens of the older Joe’s memory.

The result is an ambitious but disappointing, regret-filled psycho-drama. Some individual scenes are impressive: a portentous, Ian McEwan-lite set-piece involving playing children or the scene illustrating the confusion and nascent vanity of the teenage Joe (the handsome-featured but limited Harry Eden) accepting sex with a conflicted, unhappily married neighbour (Jodhi May), knowing it will disappoint his fellow Bowie-loving first love (the excellent Felicity Jones). But, overall, Walsh’s use of music (Scott Walker) and glossy ‘mid-Atlantic’ direction seems more pretentious than evocative and unsuited to the material, beaching too many of the actors’ performances, not least Craig’s, whose sketchy role precludes any sort of audience sympathy or emotional involvement.
0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 18, 2008

Duration:

114 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Baillie Walsh

Screenwriter:

Baillie Walsh

Cast:

Daniel Craig, Harry Eden, Miram Karlin, Olivia Williams, Keeley Hawes

Cinematography:

John Mathieson

Editor:

Struan Clay

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:18
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|48
1 person listening
john o sullivan

To describe Walsh as a mere advert director is a bit mean... he directed Unfinished Sympathy and Teardrop videos... which puts him up there with the greats... GOOD TO SEE THIS FILM GETTING BELATED PRAISE

Edward

Just watched this film late last night, I thought it very evocative and well acted by the cast. We make these kind of films in the best understated way, allowing the story to unfold in beautiful glimpses of a past era. I recognise the effect an older woman can have on a young guy, and the scenes of intimacy were handled in a well crafted way without being overtly salacious. When I was sixteen I met a similar person to Evelyn, she taught me much about the power of longing. This film encapsulates many memories, and I felt somehow uplifted after watching it, in part because I live near the sea and feel its influence on our lives.

john o sullivan

its plain to see everyone who has commented on the film views this very different to the reviewer perhaps if youd lived this era you would understand thjat it was about bowie v roxy.. the who v zep.. we werent all puttting up che posters and wondering who the Baaders were bombing this week... a fantastic ensemble cast and Felicity Jones is astonishing.. tearing up as i type her name.. 5 star movie

john o sullivan

its plain to see everyone who has commented on the film views this very different to the reviewer perhaps if youd lived this era you would understand thjat it was about bowie v roxy.. the who v zep.. we werent all puttting up che posters and wondering who the Baaders were bombing this week... a fantastic ensemble cast and Felicity Jones is astonishing.. tearing up as i type her name.. 5 star movie

john from england

was about to go to bed the other night when this came on the telly. I thought I would give it a couple of minutes before heading upstairs. Two hours later, I finally went to bed. I was very shocked at how good this film was. I remember seeing the trailer in the cinema a couple of years ago and thinking "there's one to miss". How wrong could I have been. Brilliant film. Great acting and story and really caught how it was to grow up in england in the seventies. The soundtrack is fantastic especially the Roxy Music song that is central to the film. The scene already mentioned where they are lip syncing made me smile cos we have all done that "when you were young". Been straight out and bought the DVD and soundtrack CD. (cant get Bryan Ferry's voice out of my head!!)

john from england

was about to go to bed the other night when this came on the telly. I thought I would give it a couple of minutes before heading upstairs. Two hours later, I finally went to bed. I was very shocked at how good this film was. I remember seeing the trailer in the cinema a couple of years ago and thinking "there's one to miss". How wrong could I have been. Brilliant film. Great acting and story and really caught how it was to grow up in england in the seventies. The soundtrack is fantastic especially the Roxy Music song that is central to the film. The scene already mentioned where they are lip syncing made me smile cos we have all done that "when you were young". Been straight out and bought the DVD and soundtrack CD. (cant get Bryan Ferry's voice out of my head!!)

nitin kene

JUST SAW THE MOVIE, A VERY EMOTIONAL AND HEART TOUCHING MOVIE. LEARNING LESSON...NEVER EVER TAKE ANY CHANCES WITH LIFE.,BE SURE WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF IT,EVERY TIME. I LOVED WATCHING THE MOVIE.

Craig

Flashbacks of a Fool is an odd movie. It is subtle and slow with a few moments that shock you or take your breath away. Better than any other movie in twenty years it has taken me back to that amazing feeling of being 15 and falling in love, of touching the hand of that one amazing, special, magical girl. I saw it weeks ago and I can't get the song "If There Was Something" out of my head. Even now it makes me sad for my youth. I want desperately to send this movie to that one girl in my life, along with the song that always reminds me of her, just to let her know how special she was to me. This movie may not blow your socks off, but it will ache inside you and weeks later you will come to a review site, wondering if it did the same for others. Turns out it did. Well done.

Craig

Flashbacks of a Fool is an odd movie. It is subtle and slow with a few moments that shock you or take your breath away. Better than any other movie in twenty years it has taken me back to that amazing feeling of being 15 and falling in love, of touching the hand of that one amazing, special, magical girl. I saw it weeks ago and I can't get the song "If There Was Something" out of my head. Even now it makes me sad for my youth. I want desperately to send this movie to that one girl in my life, along with the song that always reminds me of her, just to let her know how special she was to me. This movie may not blow your socks off, but it will ache inside you and weeks later you will come to a review site, wondering if it did the same for others. Turns out it did. Well done.

jordansmith2008@hotmail.c

l really enjoyed this movie and its tragic "learn from past mistakes and don't take your life for granted" attitude, a very well set sea-side town in 1970s Britain was beautifully recreated.

jordansmith2008@hotmail.c

l really enjoyed this movie and its tragic "learn from past mistakes and don't take your life for granted" attitude, a very well set sea-side town in 1970s Britain was beautifully recreated.

Jeff

I think it's sad that the woman using the id "impossible" can't enjoy this film because she is too disturbed by the sex scenes. Those scenes needed to be in there and made the film very real to me because of them. I really identified with the main character in this film more than any other I’ve seen in a long time. This woman's critique makes me think she's another judgmental fanatical Puritanical American Mega-church member that should just watch religious TV instead of anything meaningful. How sad she is but at the same time an awful person who likely pushes for more censorship in the US. Sorry but I'm just SO sick of people like her in America.

Jeff

I think it's sad that the woman using the id "impossible" can't enjoy this film because she is too disturbed by the sex scenes. Those scenes needed to be in there and made the film very real to me because of them. I really identified with the main character in this film more than any other I’ve seen in a long time. This woman's critique makes me think she's another judgmental fanatical Puritanical American Mega-church member that should just watch religious TV instead of anything meaningful. How sad she is but at the same time an awful person who likely pushes for more censorship in the US. Sorry but I'm just SO sick of people like her in America.

jon

Have been awhile I haven't seen such a good movie. I loved it and I enjoyed the entire movie. The story to me sounded quite a real-life one, not a normal teen years and sexual events, followed by adult desires when money and fame is not short in the 40's. Also the end was expected to be so and I would have been surprised to see a different one. Life continues with a struggle to cope with identity, finding love and peace. Don't understand the negative reviews but don't care much. thank you for this great movie

jon

Have been awhile I haven't seen such a good movie. I loved it and I enjoyed the entire movie. The story to me sounded quite a real-life one, not a normal teen years and sexual events, followed by adult desires when money and fame is not short in the 40's. Also the end was expected to be so and I would have been surprised to see a different one. Life continues with a struggle to cope with identity, finding love and peace. Don't understand the negative reviews but don't care much. thank you for this great movie

Impossible

A movie about poor choices. Although a great story, it was ruined by some poor choices in direction and editing, that I felt, added nothing to the film and ruined the enjoyment of an overall well made movie and good story. The sexually crude gangsta rap really was quite particularly repulsive over the credits at the end and really detracted from the quality of the film. Also the first the opening orgy was unnecessarily graphic in order to reveal that DC had descended into a hedonistic and superficial lifestyle. The masturbation scene in the ghost train between the two teenage friends was also a poor choice in telling the story. Apparently it revealed how comfortable thy where in each others presence, which was more gross than revealing of this facet to their relationship. I was not comfortable with this and so I could not recommend it to my friends. The R rating in my opinion would reduce its box office success overall and I think reduced the quality of the well made sections of the film.

Jon Davies

Haven't seen a film in a long while that just did so many things right - shooting, casting, script, location - they all should be so proud. None of the standard cliches or compromises that a lot of US & UK movies seem to get laden with to make them more 'marketable'.

Jon Davies

Haven't seen a film in a long while that just did so many things right - shooting, casting, script, location - they all should be so proud. None of the standard cliches or compromises that a lot of US & UK movies seem to get laden with to make them more 'marketable'.

Heidi and Peter

My husband and I just rented this movie last night. We thought we'd watch the movie because we consider Daniel Craig to be an elite Actor. We actually didn't have great expectations before watching the movie, because it got mixed reviews. We were pleasantly surprised how good the movie turned out to be. My husband and I actually watched it three more times. I just don't understand why some people gave it negative comments when it was actually a good movie. NEVER EVER LISTEN TO THE REVIEWS, just see the movie first!

Heidi and Peter

My husband and I just rented this movie last night. We thought we'd watch the movie because we consider Daniel Craig to be an elite Actor. We actually didn't have great expectations before watching the movie, because it got mixed reviews. We were pleasantly surprised how good the movie turned out to be. My husband and I actually watched it three more times. I just don't understand why some people gave it negative comments when it was actually a good movie. NEVER EVER LISTEN TO THE REVIEWS, just see the movie first!

Curt

Dee Gibbs and Wally Hammond completely missed out on what this film was all about but I see most others were as impressed as i was. That shows to never put much stock in a critic, especially a self-indulged English critic. This indeed took me back to those critical junctions when I was young ,and how I didnt always make the best decision, but have to live with those that I made. Felicity indeed stole the show. Great music. Beautiful scenery

Curt

Dee Gibbs and Wally Hammond completely missed out on what this film was all about but I see most others were as impressed as i was. That shows to never put much stock in a critic, especially a self-indulged English critic. This indeed took me back to those critical junctions when I was young ,and how I didnt always make the best decision, but have to live with those that I made. Felicity indeed stole the show. Great music. Beautiful scenery

Bauer

Great movie. Not the 80s, but the seventies. 74, I would presume, Alladin Sane came out in 73, Jean Genie was playing during the HS bedrrom scene. Music, great. Ending, perhaps one of the best. The director limited all of their acting by keeping their parts relatively minimal. Excellent choice. Moives are two hours, roughly. You as the viewer must make the connections. Perhaps, Ruth's clothes were a bit tidy in the end. One snapshot can't dictate what her working attire on the farm pertains to. Many situations in her daily routine may have lead her to the fields. Anyway, great soundtrack, great minimal acting (allow the pieces of the film to shape the movie). All and all, a movie about making a few poor decisions...where will it lead to. Not necessarily hell, but trouble and trouble that needs to be dealt with. Check it out. Good one.

Bauer

Great movie. Not the 80s, but the seventies. 74, I would presume, Alladin Sane came out in 73, Jean Genie was playing during the HS bedrrom scene. Music, great. Ending, perhaps one of the best. The director limited all of their acting by keeping their parts relatively minimal. Excellent choice. Moives are two hours, roughly. You as the viewer must make the connections. Perhaps, Ruth's clothes were a bit tidy in the end. One snapshot can't dictate what her working attire on the farm pertains to. Many situations in her daily routine may have lead her to the fields. Anyway, great soundtrack, great minimal acting (allow the pieces of the film to shape the movie). All and all, a movie about making a few poor decisions...where will it lead to. Not necessarily hell, but trouble and trouble that needs to be dealt with. Check it out. Good one.

April H.

This film is great... The folks that didn't like it haven't experienced the era or the diversity of life's journey as we have that are in our 40's and 50's that truly embraced life through our music in the 70's.... This movie is artful..sexy and mirrors many of our lives...In some ways it is a wake up call and a reminder of what sticks to the soul... I adored this movie... I do think it moved a bit slow during the 1/2 half but culminated in a moving, sexy and poignant reflection of life's turns and twists.. Fabulous Soundtrack... The Roxy Music - If There is Something and that scene with Harry Eden and Claire Forlani performing to the music is "right on" and indeed took me back.. The music of Roxy, Bowie etc. etc. became part of who we are... I loved the film... those who slept missed out and aren't of the era to appreciate this genre of this film... BTW, Daniel Craig is so hot... played the part perfectly.. Harry Eden was the young golden boy perfect for a young Joe. Interesting and so true how both men and women can become so self-absorbed because of their sexual appeal that starts at an early age..

April H.

This film is great... The folks that didn't like it haven't experienced the era or the diversity of life's journey as we have that are in our 40's and 50's that truly embraced life through our music in the 70's.... This movie is artful..sexy and mirrors many of our lives...In some ways it is a wake up call and a reminder of what sticks to the soul... I adored this movie... I do think it moved a bit slow during the 1/2 half but culminated in a moving, sexy and poignant reflection of life's turns and twists.. Fabulous Soundtrack... The Roxy Music - If There is Something and that scene with Harry Eden and Claire Forlani performing to the music is "right on" and indeed took me back.. The music of Roxy, Bowie etc. etc. became part of who we are... I loved the film... those who slept missed out and aren't of the era to appreciate this genre of this film... BTW, Daniel Craig is so hot... played the part perfectly.. Harry Eden was the young golden boy perfect for a young Joe. Interesting and so true how both men and women can become so self-absorbed because of their sexual appeal that starts at an early age..

Jan D.

Saw this Baillie Walsh film completely by chance as it was the only one starting at the Cinema when we arrived. Absolutely loved it! Beautifully Shot, Cast with Stunning locations. We will be looking out for his next production. Great to see a film that didn't have a hollywood Template.

Steph

I've never seen a film like it. It's absolutely beautiful. I'm being serious, go and see it. It's not a waste at all, me and my friend were touched by it and the actors are amazing. The camera work was stunning and the whole film made me think so much more deeply into things. absolutely amazing, don't miss it.

Steph

I've never seen a film like it. It's absolutely beautiful. I'm being serious, go and see it. It's not a waste at all, me and my friend were touched by it and the actors are amazing. The camera work was stunning and the whole film made me think so much more deeply into things. absolutely amazing, don't miss it.

Doll

I loved this film.. it has stayed with me for days. The acting was superb, so was the cinematography and music. I'd definitely go and see it again, love films which make me laugh and cry.....

Doll

I loved this film.. it has stayed with me for days. The acting was superb, so was the cinematography and music. I'd definitely go and see it again, love films which make me laugh and cry.....

Kevin

It's been a while since I found a film as engaging as this, I'm still thinking about it. This is one movie I won't forget in a hurry, it was a real experience to look back at the seventies in this movie. I'll watch it again when it comes out on DVD.

Kevin

It's been a while since I found a film as engaging as this, I'm still thinking about it. This is one movie I won't forget in a hurry, it was a real experience to look back at the seventies in this movie. I'll watch it again when it comes out on DVD.

sonita gale

The film was simply superb Craig showing yet again his raw versatile acting ability. Its artistic, tragic and the script is very well written. Go and see it you wont be disappointed...

sonita gale

The film was simply superb Craig showing yet again his raw versatile acting ability. Its artistic, tragic and the script is very well written. Go and see it you wont be disappointed...

vivienne bryant

This is a wonderfully funny and very moving film, if you pay attention the pay of at the end with Joe Scotts animated conversation with Ophelia as they drive off into the Sunset is very well acted and gives us hope in Joes future. I love this film and everything about it.

vivienne bryant

This is a wonderfully funny and very moving film, if you pay attention the pay of at the end with Joe Scotts animated conversation with Ophelia as they drive off into the Sunset is very well acted and gives us hope in Joes future. I love this film and everything about it.

Jane

Insanely dull film - the earlier reviewers' comments about needing a couple of beers to get through it are spot on. Putting a decent writer on it would have made a lot of difference - after a promising start, it just doesn't go anywhere!

Johnny B

Just watched the film tonight, drank a couple of beers during the film, as long as you aren't overthinking the plot too much like some critics then you will enjoy it, there is colour, there is music , there is a bit of sadness but overall it was a good no brainer kind of film. If anyone knows where the early days beach scenes were shot please post as it would be good to visit as it looks nice.

usman khawaja

this is a troubled movie and the problem clearly is a muddled narrative with an overcrowded script,craig is ordinary as a fading ,drug junky hollywood star ,he opens the movie in a threesome with two perfunctory looking escorts -after a lot of coke and drugs ,we find his best friend from blighty is dead-so the recollection starts -the younger joe is seduced by a neighbours wife while her daughter meets an accident during the sex frolic,so he flees home in remorse ,leaving ex love and best friend behind . the characters all lack conviction and are very superficial . the granny stereotype from the childhood is ludicrous and the seduction is badly bungled,this is no mike nicols or graduate , joe returns to find a dull english rural life and seems pleased to have left it 25 years ago,everyone looks so miserable and bored here-can you blame the audience for walking out in the middle . the sparkling cinematography from malibu to cornwall does not set a mood too,the songs by roxy music and bowie are rendered redundant by a lacklustre script which cannot even place them decently in context to the script , the result is a confused ,awry,awkward and dull movie which can at best be descibed as a boring but noble intention . i do sympathize with jo -his cocaine sniffing seems to be a result of his mundane teen years ,but i still did not comprehend why there were so many nude men in this movie with bare rears -including that of the bond ,all over the place-was the targeted audience meant to be just interested in mens rear aspects -and the nudity was unnecessary and un aesthetic too. rather a waste of time -but did have some potential jbz7879

Susan

fabulous photography, great music, good acting, felt the script was weak, but thoroughly recommend it. comment you type in this box will appear on the site

richard ashley

I was at the premiere too and I loved the film, I thought it was a visually stunning, the acting was first class (and yes Felicity Jones stole the show) and the story made me laugh and cry all in the space of ninety-something mins ... anyone with any degree of sensitivity will trully connect with this film and they will wake up the next day still thinking about it.

richard ashley

I was at the premiere too and I loved the film, I thought it was a visually stunning, the acting was first class (and yes Felicity Jones stole the show) and the story made me laugh and cry all in the space of ninety-something mins ... anyone with any degree of sensitivity will trully connect with this film and they will wake up the next day still thinking about it.

Jenny

Why does Wally Hammond have to use the f-word on a publicly accessible site. It's not big and it's not clever. Thought the film was okay. Being a girlie, I couldn't help wishing that I had been naked with Daniel Craig during the opening scene. Nice abs.

John

You know, I can't help but agree with the above reviews. I was also at the premiere on Sunday last and I think it was very revealing that the entire audience walked out as soon as the credits started to roll - normally, everyone waits to see their names and those of fellow luvvies-in-attendance in lights. I won't comment on the storyline as there isn't really one (as you will see from the above). The film itself is a bit like a series of individual advertisements ... a scene in a restaurant with Craig could as well be part of a car advertisement. One at the end of the film where he reunites with his mother might as well be an ad for Ovaltine whereas the UK scenes could all be advertising Hovis. If you take these separately, they are all good entertainment. When you montage them, you might as well be watching Pearl & Dean's own display of cinematic triumphs before the movie. This is an object lesson in not allowing commercials directors and producers to play at making long-form films (unless you're Ridley Scott).