Greetings From Tim Buckley doesn’t quite reach its full potential. Set in 1991, the David Algrant’s film documents the frustration 21-year-old Jeff Buckley (Gossip Girl beau Penn Badgely) feels about performing a tribute to his equally musical father Tim (Ben Rosenfeld), who abandoned him at birth. The film follows the days leading up to that tribute, with flashbacks of Buckley Snr. touring (and womanising while he’s at it) throughout the ’70s.
Despite the love interest between Jeff and Allie (Imogen Poots) – a young woman who is working at the tribute concert – no real tension builds and not once are we drawn to the edge of our seats. Allie is left dull and uninspiring, only ever showing character with the occasional and annoyingly ‘indie’ sentence. Between that and Jeff’s generic inner torment and artistic arrogance, it’s hard to understand what either character sees in the other. But in Jeff, Badgely becomes an accomplished and dedicated actor – even singing like a Buckley in the final show – and the English actress Poots manages to pull an almost stock character off with a pretty bang on American accent and natural performance. Thankfully, Jeff ends up shaking off many of his flaws, and all the more thankfully, the lovebirds eventually stop chasing each other (it will send you up the wall).
Regardless, if you’re a staunch Buckley fan you do need to catch this one. While director Algrantobviously gave precedence to the romance of music over plot and character development, Greetings From Tim Buckley, a low budget film,isn’t without its beauty. With a killer soundtrack scored mostly by Tim, this appears to be a tribute of Algrant’s own to the musical father and son duo.
Greetings From Tim Buckley is in cinemas now.