Few like the British writer Nick Hornby were able to portray the affections in crisis that haunt young people who refuse to be responsible adults – or those who find it difficult to stop being immature young people, which is the same thing. I still remember when I read, between laughter and much melancholy, that romance full of humor and despair called "High Fidelity"(1995), a generational treatise that made adolescents anguish a permanent mode of being for men in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.
The cinema would not be indifferent to this confession of part and also the fun & # 39; best seller. Rob Fleming's novel by Hornby was played by John Cusack in one of director Stephen Frears' best films ("High Faithfulness", 2000). Well, now comes to the screens the adaptation of "Julieta, Nu", another Hornby novel, the Spanish title attributed to the film, somewhat inappropriate, is"Vinyl love", and revolves around a mysterious missing rocker named Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke).
"Juliet" is the name of the only album published by Crowe. We know this from Duncan (Chris O'Dowd), the university professor who gives specialized lessons on the cult series "The Wire". Like Rimbaud, Crowe decided to disappear from the public sphere after his first and only creation. And while Duncan set up his studio studio with pictures of the mysterious musician, Duncan's couple Annie (Rose Byrne) accepts his supporting role in the teacher's life, in front of Crowe's preeminence.
The tone chosen by Jesse Peretz, the director of the film, is very close to the parody: Duncan exhibits a delirious pedantry that involves the majority of those obsessed by a cult musician. But that sarcastic flavor is misleading. As in the comedies of the engagements, the principle of paradoxical chance is activated, which leads to a more dramatic record: by a commentary with which Annie destroys – to annoy Duncan – a lost recording of Crowe, the mythical rocker decides to write to Annie, congratulating her on the comment.
It is then that the film transits with virtuosity to a rich range of emotional tones. The mocking humor becomes more tender and compassionate, which is even confused with real moments of gravity and sadness, well incarnated by Byrne and Hawke. The latter is an actor who has demonstrated an extraordinary talent, choosing characters intimidated, struck by a certain pathos. A record we saw in "Before nightfall" (2013), and this time recreates with other variants.
It turns out that Crowe is now a father without glamor and tormented. He failed in his numerous children, divided among different women who now do not respect him. In this context, Annie and he begin a strange sentimental relationship that goes from friendship to romantic possibility. The mythical artist is now a ridiculous man, but willing to do everything to respond well to the education of his last child. Given this, Annie evaluates her life with melancholy and not a little skepticism.
Rose Byrne, with her frightened gestures, her broken laughter and her gaze engrossed by a life she can not assume with conviction, reminds Marie Rivière of "The Green Ray" (1985). And though "Vinyl Love" is far from being Eric Rohmer's masterpiece, it still has that ambiguous blend of bittersweet lightness and secret depth. In Hornby's world, the lists of pop songs must stop before the urgency of the own existence, before a destination that has to recover. Part of that hope, shrouded in little sadness, is conveyed in this discreet and sensitive film by Jesse Peretz.