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Flashbacks of a Fool

3.7 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Daniel Craig delivers a startling performance as Joe Scott, a washed-up Hollywood star adrift in a haze of sex, drugs and squandered fame. But when he receives news of the sudden death of his childhood best friend, Joe flashes back to his younger self (played by Harry Eden of OLIVER TWIST) in his small English seaside village and the summer of innocence and tragedy that would change his life forever. Olivia Williams (THE SIXTH SENSE), Claire Forlani (CSI: NY) and Eve co-star in this powerful drama about love, loss and one man's journey to redemption, executive produced by Daniel Craig and featuring songs by Scott Walker, David Bowie and Roxy Music.


Leading man Daniel Craig apparently made Flashbacks of a Fool (he was also one of the executive producers) in between stints as James Bond, and you can see why he was attracted to it; Joe Scott, the character he portrays in this film, could hardly be less like the suave, ever-resourceful 007. Ensconced in a fab, oceanfront Malibu crib, Joe is a movie star on the skids. Hooked on coke and drink, engaging in group gropes with dumb Hollywood bimbos, he’s sunk so low that his sassy assistant (Eve) calls him "a disgrace to white folks," and even his agent is sick of him, which is somewhat akin to a parasite dissing its host (it’s a measure of writer-director Baillie Walsh’s script’s lack of depth that we never really see what made Joe so great in the first place, or so bad now). When a call comes that a childhood friend has died, Joe decides to return to his native England for the funeral, whereupon an extended flashback kicks in. Young Joe (Harry Eden), it seems, was as randy and hopelessly naïve as a lot of teenage boys. Though he had the hots for the sexiest young thang in town (a coastal village that’s as lovely in its way as the California setting, both of them handsomely photographed by cinematographer John Mathieson; the locations, in fact, are probably the most attractive element of the film), he also wasn’t immune to the advances of Evelyn (Jodhi May), the older married woman who lives next door. And when a tragedy involving Evelyn’s daughter struck while she and Joe were in flagrante, Joe handled it by leaving town, never to return--until now, that is. He discovers that his late pal’s widow is the same young girl Joe’d had his eye on, but otherwise his homecoming is a strangely muted affair; not a lot happens, which pretty much applies to the film overall. In the end, Flashbacks of a Fool has its touching moments, but it might have turned out better had it been both shaken and stirred. --Sam Graham

Stills from Flashbacks of a Fool (Click for larger image)

Special Features

  • UK TV Spots
  • Interviews with Cast and Crew

Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Craig, Harry Eden, Eve, Olivia Williams, Emile Robert
  • Directors: Baillie Walsh
  • Writers: Baillie Walsh
  • Producers: Daniel Craig, Brian Avery, Claus Clausen, Damon Bryant, Dianne Beatty
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: November 4, 2008
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,187 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flashbacks of a Fool" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Films of reflection are too few and often they resort to tales of climbing to a summit only to gaze back at the shadows never cast in the greedy race for the top and end in tragedy. FLASHBACKS OF A FOOL suggests, by its title, that the story may be different, that there may be some redemption at the core of an abusive life.

Writer/director Baillie Walsh sets his story in opening frames of intense sexual, drug accompanied debauchery. But as the credits fade, the lead character Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) faces a morning of hung over reality. A wealthy Hollywood star whose lifestyle has hastened his aging, Joe is 'managed' by the stern Ophelia (Eve) who is tiring of Joe's wasted lifestyle. Her warnings, as well as Joe's agent's confrontation that Joe is too old looking for a new screenplay, is compounded by a telephone call that Joe's boyhood friend Boots (Max Deacon) has suddenly died, leaving Joe's old first girlfriend Ruth (Claire Forlani) an early widow. Depressed and drunk Joe walks his beach and reflects on his youth. The 'flashback' tales us to Joe's teenage years (the young Joe is Harry Eden) with Boots as his closest friend and Ruth (Felicity Jones), the girl Joe craves. But hormones rule and Joe is an easy prey for his married next door neighbor: during one of their trysts a tragedy occurs that results in Joe's fleeing home for the 'successful' yet empty life he finds in Hollywood.

At the request of Joe's mother (Olivia Williams) he flies back to England where he is forced to confront the early damage he caused in the lives of his family and friends. Daniel Craig and Harry Eden are excellent in their mirrored roles of the young and the older Joe. In fact there is not a weak member of this fine British cast.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is a shot in "Flashbacks of a Fool" where Daniel Crag is coming down the stairs in the elegant sterility of his Malibu beach house where he stands momentarily in front of a famous photography of himself from Sam Taylor-Wood's Crying Men series. The portrait is so arresting, real tears sparkle in the ravaged eyes of Mr. Craig as he tires to shield his face from the camera. This juxtaposition of the portrait with the manic cut off and out of control movie star, Joe Scott, whom he is playing, says volumes about the film and its theme as well as something about its gifted star.

Director-writer Baillie Walsh has made a gem of a small character driven film that is both deeply meaningful to him and moving to the viewer. Kudos to him for bringing this his vision to the screen and to producer Craig for lending his star clout, which got this film made.

John Matheison's cinematography is lush and richly fills the screen,. The score by Richard Hartley informs the scenes without overwhelming them. And the editing by Sturan Clay is well done and seamless.

Wonderful performances are turned in by the entire cast with stand outs by Olivia William, Ophelia Franklin (brilliantly low key performance) and felicity Jones. Yet with a plethora of wonders in this film, great screenplay, perfect score with fine song choices and lush cinematography the heart and soul of this story belongs to two men.

Harry Eden and Daniel Craig who play the role of young and middle-aged Joe. Mr. Eden is not only a perfect physical choice to play a younger version of Daniel Craig but he has an amazingly open and stunning talent that matches his older costar. When he is on the screen you can look at nothing else.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am always intrigued when actors like Daniel Craig can go from playing blockbuster roles (James Bond) back to portraying the vulnerable man. In this film Craig manages to span a range of emotion within the has-been actor he portrays and it certainly makes for an interesting film.

This movie is darkly captivating in ways that are often missed in the more popular films with mega-stars. It begins with the superficial surface living of an aging Hollywood star who is obviously succumbing to the excesses of his fame. Craig appears far from his Bond role here. Pop-star Eve makes an appearance as the woman who puts together the pieces of Craig's life and allows him to maintain some semblance of respect. But it isn't until Craig's character hits bottom that we get to the true meat of this picture. In flashbacks we discover how this creature of Hollywood fame was created and suddenly the excesses and egocentricities are allowed. Tragedy and lost love surround our character's younger years (played brilliantly by Harry Eden). It's a coming of age story that ends with surprising results despite having met the outcome of a youth spent so self-absorbed.

I have to say that the first part of this film all but bored me, mostly because I abhorred the overly narcissistic character that we are first greeted by. I didn't really care how the man was created and I almost didn't stick around to find out. But to the writer's credit I am glad I did. The early story is beautiful although horribly sad. Craig does an excellent job in his role being both vulnerable and subdued. I was not expecting the raw sentiment so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this film after such a shaky start. I confess it isn't my favorite but it is well worth seeing for the consciousness it provokes.
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Topic From this Discussion
music selections
They lip-sync to "If There Is Something" from Roxy's first, self-titled LP. The soundtrack also includes "Virginia Plain", a single included on re-releases of the same first LP as a bonus track.
Nov 16, 2009 by Bernardo Quiroga |  See all 2 posts
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