Greetings from Tim Buckley – Review

I enjoyed this film, but it probably isn’t to everyone’s taste, particularly if they are not fans of either Tim or Jeff Buckley and their music. It is set around a tribute concert given in Brooklyn in 1991 for Tim Buckley, about 16 years after his death from an accidental overdose. Tim’s son Jeff Buckley is somewhat reluctantly encouraged to perform some of his father’s music and the experience becomes a bit of a reconciliation for him about his very limited relationship with his father. After my own father’s recent death, I found this part of the film very touching, and probably quite realistic. The event seems to have been the catalyst that convinced Jeff to follow in his father’s footsteps and three years later he recorded the seminal album Grace. Sadly, Jeff too was to die tragically early in a drowning accident less than six years after the tribute concert.

Jeff is played very convincingly by Penn Badgley and Tim is also played very well (in flash-backs) by Ben Rosenfield. Both parts feature a lot of musical performances. I’ve said this about a lot of the films I saw at Sydney Film Festival this year, but Greetings from Tim Buckley was also very well shot. Some of the scenes are really beautiful and the cinematographer seems to have used some very subtle colouring to distinguish the flash-back scenes.

There is one really intriguing scene between Jeff and Gary Lucas (as played by Tony Award winner Frank Wood) in which Jeff first hears the guitar theme from his single “Grace”, played by Gary who says it is a bit like church bells. Jeff then messes around with it and we hear more of the beginnings of that amazing song. This has all now been confirmed in a comment below by Gary himself. He started Grace as his own solo guitar instrumental and you can see and hear it here:

As I said above, it it is unlikely to be a film for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. 4/5

And a sketch of Jeff by me to finish:

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3 comments

  1. Gary Lucas

    No it wasn’t Richard Hell –it was I, Gary Lucas…as played by Tony Award winner Frank Wood. I co-wrote “Grace” with Jeff–he used to be the lead singer in my band Gods and Monsters. In the film I am on the soundtrack playing my own music (including the ur-“Grace” a/k/a my instrumental “Rise Up to Be”–like all of the dozen songs I co-wrote with Jeff, “Grace” started as my own solo guitar instrumental–view on YouTube.

    http://garylucas.com/www/bio

    • malbooth

      Wow! Thanks for the comment & for finding this review, I’ve now corrected the text and noted you as the source of the information. I’m truly amazed by this. Mal

  2. ileneonwords

    I really want to see this film. I did a posting this morning on Tim Buckley since he died June 29th, 1975. I loved his songs. Thanks for the movie review!

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