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Born to Be Blue (2015)

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A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s.

Director:

Robert Budreau

Writers:

Robert Budreau, James Luscombe (story editor)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Chet Baker
Carmen Ejogo ... Jane / Elaine
Callum Keith Rennie ... Dick Bock
Tony Nappo ... Officer Reid
Stephen McHattie ... Chesney Baker Sr.
Janet-Laine Green ... Vera Baker
Dan Lett ... Danny Friedman
Kedar Brown ... Miles Davis
Kevin Hanchard ... Dizzy Gillespie
Tony Nardi ... Nicholas
Barbara Mamabolo ... Janelle
Charles Officer ... Bowling Alley Thug
Katie Boland ... Sarah
Janine Theriault Janine Theriault ... Florence
Joe Cobden ... Actor Dick
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Storyline

Born to be Blue starring Ethan Hawke is a re-imagining of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker's life in the 60's. When Chet stars in a film about himself, a romance heats up with his costar, the enigmatic Jane (Carmen Ejogo). Production is shelved when Chet's past comes back to haunt him and it appears he may never play music again but Jane challenges him to mount a musical comeback against all the odds. Written by Leonard Farlinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language, some sexuality and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Canada | UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

30 March 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chet Baker: A Lenda do Jazz See more »

Filming Locations:

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,069, 6 March 2016

Gross USA:

$830,129

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,553,337
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ethan Hawke wore prosthetic teeth to get the teeth gap in the first scenes. See more »

Goofs

Jane holds a stick figure made of vegetables on the set that disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Chet Baker: Time gets wider, you know. Not just longer.
See more »


Soundtracks

Let's Get Lost
Arranged and Performed by David Braid
Written by Frank Loesser (as F. Loesser), Jimmy McHugh (as J. McHugh)
Courtesy of Sony / ATV Harmony
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dreamy movie about unpleasant jazz musician
4 December 2016 | by dierregiSee all my reviews

This movie is a fictional reconstruction of a short period in the life of Baker, during the 60s. Starting with Chet in an Italian jail in 1966, the story quickly moves to New York, where Chet is invited to play himself in a documentary about his life. Then follows one of the most amazing scenes I ever saw.

Opening as a black & white flashback, we see a young Chet in 1954, playing very cool in Birdland, with Miles Davis and Dizzie Gillespie in the audience. In the backstage we see what should be Baker's initiation to heroin, but we discover that the scene is actually part of the documentary.

Brilliant film-making is made of such scenes conveying all the magic of cinema.

The story continues with Chet trying to rebuild his "career" with a help of a female artist, unfortunate enough to be attracted by his relatively good looks and melancholic charm. The pair moves from New York to California, where Chet swear to be clean and ready to play some serious jazz.

Unfortunately, Chet was the master of all junkies, unreliable, selfish and self-destructive. His girlfriend wisely dumps him and off he goes to enjoy the company of heroin until the day he died.

I am not a jazz fan and never heard any of the music Baker played, so I cannot comment about the remarks about the music not being good enough or even detrimental to the movie. For me it was a very well written and executed film, with a solid plot and good performances.

PS: as far as "blackening the reputation" of Baker... I never understood why junkie musicians should be idolized. The history of contemporary music is paved with unpleasant, self-destructive characters who had exceptional musical skills. Egotism does not make them any less talented, but certainly does not add to their charm.

If you want to see what years of heroin addiction do to the body, just check the photos of Chet from his early 20s until the end of his life. The crevasses on his face mirrors the destruction of his internal organs....


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