Movie Review by Alice Castle
Starring: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento, Scott Green, Nicole Vicius
Director: Gus Van Sant
Attention Nirvana fans! Gus Van Sant’s film invites us to take an intimate view of the last days of grunge music genius Blake (Michael Pitt). Hiding away from the world in a crumbling but beautiful, rambling mansion in the Washington State countryside, Blake spends his final days in a private world of disjointed music and dislocated thoughts. Although we never see him pop any pills, or inject any veins, he moves through the days and nights in a hazy blur. His fellow band-members share the house but know that Blake likes to be left alone. The phone rings but is never answered, Blake prepares food but never eats it. Nobody seems that bothered to find out why he’s living his life in a miserable blur.
Nirvana fans will probably love this film or hate it. Clearly based on Kurt Cobain, Michael Pitt bears the weight of being compared to the departed legend. He looks the part – angelic and childlike, damaged and talented. When he decides to put down the music inside his head in one final track, he plays each instrument with great skill and passion. Pitt’s Blake is even a nice guy – spending several painful minutes discussing a small ad with a Yellow Pages salesman who calls at the door.
Great performance, but the whole piece drags and feels somewhat too self-indulgent.