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By Jess Fenton
4th June 2013

Father and son movies are as old as the medium itself. Even dead father/alive son isn’t something new - but what makes ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’ different is that it’s true. Any music lover over the age of 40 has heard of Tim Buckley. Any music lover under the age of 40 has heard of Jeff Buckley. While both had tragically short lives, they both had equally powerful careers, accomplishing more in their limited years (and even in death) than most could in multiple lifetimes.

It’s incredible how two people who’ve never met can share something as intimate as music.

In 1991, 16 years after his father’s death and three years before his debut and sadly only album ‘Grace’ is released, a 27-year-old Jeff Buckley travels from California to New York to participate in a tribute concert for his father. Armed only with a rudimentary knowledge of Tim’s music and the heartbreaking and constant reminder that he looks like the man he shares a last name with but no memories or emotional connection, Jeff navigates New York. He confronts his father’s fans, friends and old bandmates, his own talent, a new love and a ghost to become the man that would eventually inspire a generation, and ultimately give us one of the most beloved and haunting covers of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and the original ‘Last Goodbye’ (originally called ‘Unforgiven’).


Penn Badgley has put in a solid effort in portraying not only an icon but in shedding his TV “good guy” image. Badgley’s performance is not a cheap imitation but a respectful portrayal, clearly in the hands of an avid admirer. One scene in particular he nails, but his talent is his undoing, as it only leaves you craving the real thing. Despite valid attempts, the story still fails to connect father and son, despite its use of music, flashbacks and simultaneous storylines. The film does well in not sensationalising these lives, and leaves each performance raw and delicately nuanced.

It’s incredible how two people who’ve never met can share something as intimate as music.

Director Daniel Algrant has shot a beautiful film and assembled such a wonderful and organic cast that the end product could almost be mistaken for a documentary - however, the curse of art imitating life plagues this film; these two tragically separated lives cannot ultimately be brought together on film. Walk away with this - the soundtrack is exquisite and will undoubtedly awaken a new crop of Buckley fans.

RELEASE DATE: 01/08/2013
RUN TIME: 1h 39m
CAST: Imogen Poots - Allie
Penn Badgley - Jeff Buckley
Ben Rosenfield - Tim Buckley
William Sadler - Lee Underwood
DIRECTOR: Daniel Algrant
WRITERS: Daniel Algrant
David Brendel
Emma Sheanshang
Amy Nauiokas
Frederick Zollo
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