Evelyn GoughIn the Picture

Beyond the Sea

Directed by Kevin Spacey

Rated M

Like Ive said before, Im a big fan of biopics and this year weve seen some real beauties. The latest on offer is Beyond the Sea Kevin Spaceys homage to singer, composer and actor Bobby Darin and although its not up there with Walk the Line its still a fascinating and entertaining insight into a star that burned brightly for far too short a time.

Diagnosed with rheumatic fever at a young age, Bobby was never expected to live past 15. But with the love and support of his devoted mother (Brenda Blethyn) and sister (Caroline Aaron) his musical talent flourished and despite a damaged heart he defied the odds, going on to have a huge hit in 1958 with the catchy pop song Splish Splash.

However, Bobby didnt want to just be a teenage idol. His dream was to be bigger than Sinatra and with his version of Mack the Knife in 1959 he was well on his way.

He fell in love with his co-star, teenage hottie Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth), while making his acting debut in Come September in 1961 and despite her mothers (Greta Scacchi) protests she would much rather her daughter hooked up with the films leading actor Rock Hudson (!) the two were married.

But would they live happily ever after? Unfortunately not. This may be Hollywood but Sandra and Bobby werent blessed with a Hollywood happy ending. Bobby Darin died following heart surgery at the age of 37 in 1973.

Similar in style to the recent Cole Porter biography De-Lovely, Beyond the Sea is a true labour of love for Kevin Spacey. Not only did he produce and direct it, he also stars in it, and while he really is a little too old for the role of Bobby, he manages to get away with it, giving an all-singing, all-dancing, toe-tapper of a performance. And the guy can carry a tune the soundtrack is fabulous.

Even if you know nothing about Bobby Darin youll be familiar with his work. For example, if youve seen Finding Nemo and who hasnt youll recognise his smash hit Beyond the Sea.

This is a must-see for fans and all those who enjoy well crafted biopics.

Beyond the Sea also stars John Goodman, Bob Hoskins and William Ullrich.

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