Film Review: A Bit of Pop/Rock Magic Spins in ‘Juliet, Naked’

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CHICAGO – The story of a drop-out rock and roll star… usually disappearing at the height of their fame… has fascinated the movies in both fiction (“Eddie and the Cruisers”) and documentary (“Waiting for Sugarman”). “Juliet, Naked” takes the premise and creates a charming, romantic story about fandom and redemptive decisions. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

All the cast is at the top of their game with a solid and very funny script. The Year of Ethan Hawke continues with another great performance by the man as the disappeared rocker. And Irish actor Chris O’Dowd nearly steals the picture as an obsessed fan, who inadvertently begins the demise of his long time relationship. Rose Byrne is his live-in girlfriend and the centerpiece of the proceedings, and she proves again that beyond her radiant good looks lies a deft and subtle comic actor. “Juliet, Naked” is a fun and intuitive life transition story, and is recognizable on many emotional levels.

The film begins with Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), who left the pop/rock stage in the 1990s during a key part of his rising popularity. This obsesses a small but ardent fan base, led by blogger and British college instructor Duncan (Chris O’Dowd). Duncan is sent a package, which contains the demo recordings for his favorite Tucker Crowe album, “Juliet.” The disk is entitled “Juliet, Naked.”

Duncan’s live-in girlfriend Annie (Rose Byrne) runs a small museum in the seaside British where they reside, and also listens to Juliet, Naked… but has a decidedly negative reaction (she’s sick of Duncan’s obsession). Her blistering review of the disk is noticed by the actual Tucker Crowe, who lives in American exile inside a garage owned by his Baby Mama. Annie and Tucker begin a correspondence, which grows in ardor, and when Annie decides to end her relationship with Duncan, the door is open to connect more closely with Tucker.

“Juliet, Naked” continues its nationwide release in Chicago on August 24th. See local listings for theaters and showtimes. Featuring Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd, Azhy Robinson and Ayoola Smart. Screenplay adapted by Evgenia Peretz, Jim Taylor and Tamara Jenkins, from a novel by Nick Hornby. Directed by Jesse Peretz. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Juliet, Naked”

Annie (Rose Byrne) and Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) in ‘Juliet, Naked’
Photo credit: Lionsgate

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Juliet, Naked”

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