Kurt Cobain: About a Son, Control and John Adams
Kurt Cobain: About a Son
On Demand: Free Movies
What: Innovative biopic of Nirvana lead singer.
Why: Kurt Cobain talks about his life while you see images of places he lived and worked. It's a strange, affected stunt, but it beats the "then he did this" monotony of a formulaic Hollywood biopic. By the end, you hear his voice in your head, you see what he saw, and you're left with a haunting, ambiguous impression, deepening your sense of his personality, while making him (and his death) more enigmatic than ever.
What: Intense biopic of Joy Division lead singer.
Why: Manchester, England, in the late '70s, like Seattle 10 years later, gave birth to its own style of music: Joy Division's trancelike, post-punk techno, which later morphed into New Order. This mesmerizing drama focuses on band founder Ian Curtis, who hanged himself in 1980 at age 23. In the film's concentrated, documentary-like style, we live through his tumultuous marriage, affair with a journalist and worsening epilepsy which caused him to have seizures onstage and may have led to his abrupt suicide.
What: Quirky biopic of grouchy Revolutionary leader.
Why: Paul Giamatti always seems like the kvetchy slouch of Sideways and American Splendor; Laura Linney acts like a sleek Lady Who Lunches; and David Morse's putty nose is the most distracting prosthesis since Nicole Kidman's in The Hours. Yet the clash of timeframes, against all odds, makes the story feel vividly contemporary. It's as if you're experiencing the passing of time, and the mingling of history and ordinary life. Best of all is Stephen Dillane, as an urbane, inscrutable Thomas Jefferson.