This is a docudrama about the young David Bowie’s 1971 trip to America and the emergence of his androgenous Ziggy Stardust persona that launched his career. It’s not easy to make a celebrity with Bowie’s glowing talent boring. First, the singer is played with astounding flaccidity by pop musician Johnny Flynn, who should not any time soon consider quitting his day job.
Second, and most importantly, Bowie’s family denied director Gabriel Range the use of the man’s music. Now, I’m no quitter, but to me, if you’re making a biopic about a musician, this is a pretty strong hint that it’s time to move on to the next project. That said, and reflecting back on this cheapo, frustrating flick, the songs may not have helped.
Only for Bowie obsessives. The rest of us will have to wait for a more comprehensive effort. (109 min)