Born to be Blue
Ethan Hawke is utterly magnetic as Chet Baker, the legendary trumpeter and singer who, after becoming a jazz icon in the 1950s, became equally famous for his drug addiction. Born to be Blue reimagines Baker's life as a mixture of fact and fiction, picking up his story late in his career when, after years of heroin abuse, financial loss, and public disgrace, he attempts to stage a comeback. Starring in a film about his own infamous life, Baker strikes up a passionate romance on and off the set with Jane (Carmen Ejogo), the actress playing one of his lovers, but his hopes for a bright future are suddenly darkened when he suffers a brutal beating in a parking lot after a gig. The film is shelved, and his mouth so badly damaged that his musical career looks in doubt. With a modified sound, a youthful hunger, and Jane's unflagging support, he becomes determined to regain his place among his peers. Much more than a standard biopic, Born to be Blue takes an imaginative approach true to its subject's own creative nature as it portrays the life of an artist whose contributions to the music world were as grand as his addictions were tragic.