Melancholy bio-docs of washed-up musicians are ten-a-penny, but ‘Finisterre’ director Paul Kelly’s collaboration with Felt, Denim and Go-Kart Mozart frontman Lawrence (who never used his surname) tries an original spin on a familiar tale. Largely avoiding the biographical detail most music docs thrive on – Lawrence’s work with Felt and his subsequent problems with drugs are almost entirely overlooked – Kelly presents an intimate portrait of the man as he is today: emotionally troubled and on the dole. This approach is difficult in that it’ll take a working knowledge of – and enthusiasm for – Lawrence’s back catalogue to get the most out of the film: newcomers may wonder why this odd, often unpleasant individual is worth the trouble. But what Kelly does well is depict the intense sacrifices required for a career in music and the tenacity it takes to stay afloat.
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