Posted on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Jeff Buckley, whose sole album Grace made him a cult favorite singer/songwriter, is not a figure many actors would be eager to play. Blessed with a distinctive voice and followed by a rabid fan base, Buckley, is often seen as a singular figure in the music world. But Penn Badgley accepted the challenge of playing (and singing as) Buckley for director Daniel Algrant in the film Greetings From Tim Buckley. The film follows Jeff as he is invited to perform at a 1991 benefit concert for his late father, Tim Buckley. The younger Buckley only barely knew the elder, who died of an overdose in 1975, and the concert represented his own eulogy to his father and also his breakthrough into the music industry.
There’s a lot in this trailer: scenes with Tim Buckley (played by Ben Rosenfield), and bits where Jeff is coming to terms with his father and playing the show, and then a great deal of time where he’s minimizing the import of the show by fooling around with a cute girl (Imogen Poots) who is staffing the concert. I don’t know how well those elements work together in the film, but most of them are appealing enough in the trailer, which you can see below.
Greetings From Tim Buckley premiered recently at TIFF to reviews that praised Badgley’s performance even as they dinged some of the other elements — notably the romance.
In 1991 Jeff Buckley (PENN BADGLEY), an unknown twenty four year-old L.A. musician, is invited to participate in a tribute concert in New York City for his late father Tim Buckley, the iconic folk rock star. In the days leading up to the concert, Jeff grapples with his own self doubts and the legacy of his famous father. But with the loving help of an enigmatic young woman working at the concert (IMOGEN POOTS), he finds the courage to perform at the now legendary St. Ann’s concert, where Jeff discovers his own voice singing his father’s songs, captivating the audience and launching Jeff’s own meteoric career. Simultaneously told in 1991 and 1966, GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY poignantly explores the interweaving paths of a father and son who were among the most beloved singer-songwriters of their generations.