Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: NR Length: 103 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 14+. The film is officially NR, but would probably translate to a PG-13. There is implied sexual content (nude people dancing in a hotel room together, with his shirtlessness and her sideboob, but no frontal), an extramarital affair, and emotional themes involving a father’s abandonment of his family. Also some cursing and party environments. It’s a pretty accurate description of the hardships of the rock and roll lifestyle—broken promises, broken dreams, and so forth—and so might be interesting for teenagers captivated by, but perhaps not aware of, the realities of that kind of life.
‘Gossip Girl’ star Penn Badgley breaks out of that teen soap prison with his turn in ‘Greetings from Tim Buckley,’ offering a performance of dead-too-young singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley that is overflowing with feeling and emotion. The film’s narrative is skimpy, but Badgley is overwhelmingly affective.
By Roxana Hadadi
There are a few father-son pairings in pop culture that are phenomenally depressing: Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee, both actors, the father dead at 33 and the son at 28. Or Marvin Gaye, murdered by his father. And then there’s singer-songwriter Tim Buckley, dead at 28, and his son Jeff Buckley, dead at 30; Jeff being the son Tim abandoned, Jeff being the son whose tragic stardom would eventually, perhaps, eclipse Tim’s own. There’s a kind of senselessness to all this death, but “Greetings from Tim Buckley” tries to find meaning within the Buckley story, linking the man who Jeff became with the man Tim was. It’s an ambitious task—and one that isn’t fully successful.