Usually I hold my verdict until the end of the review, but since this will just be a quick one I’ll come outright and say it – “Moonage Daydream” blew me away. Brett Morgen managed to make a cinematic experience rather than a documentary, and any expectations I had going in were smashed.
It’s such a fitting film that reflects the great man perfectly, and I don’t think they could have done it any better. Before I reveal all of my cards at the outset, let’s dive into the details.
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I wasn’t expecting a cohesive and gripping narrative along with all the archival footage, but Brett Morgen took me on a journey that never got stale.
It’s paced to perfection, and the narration from Bowie himself kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. They don’t shy away from the chaos of Bowie’s life, but out of that chaos comes unbelievable beauty.
Unfortunately, the 135 minute time limit is what holds “Moonage Daydream” back from perfection. It doesn’t ever delve into Bowie’s drug misuse (probably to be tasteful to his estate) and the story is pretty much over after Let’s Dance. The final 30 years of his life go by in about 15 minutes, and I would have loved to delve into some of his later eras.
I’m not surprised they focussed on the 70’s so much, though – the film is named after a song from that era, after all, and that was the most exciting time creatively for the man.
You don’t need me to tell you that the music is fantastic, but it was the incredible sound mixing (by long-time Bowie producer Tony Visconti) that really blew me away.
Some songs are blended together to enhance the scene, while others provide an auditory overload to complement the visuals perfectly. I still get goosebumps thinking about the song placements in this film – it was that good.
As you can expect, I had a blast with “Moonage Daydream”. I’m a die-hard Bowie fan, and it was fascinating to catch a glimpse of some of his quieter, more personal moments. That being said, I didn’t learn anything ground-breaking, but I was still engaged throughout.
Fun fact – I actually refused to go to the toilet for two hours because this film was just so awe-inspiring! There were definitely some repeated clips that felt out of place and overused, and I was tempted to leave during these moments, but I was otherwise glued to the screen for the entire 135 minute run-time.
“Moonage Daydream” was everything I’d hoped it would be, and then some. Brett Morgen blew me away with his presentation and style, and he undoubtedly did the great man justice.
Final Score: 9.5/10
|+ Great music & sound mixing||– No new, ground-breaking information|
|+ Stunning visuals & presentation||– They skip over some key albums and eras|
|+ Brilliantly paced|
Aaaaand that’s my quick-fire review. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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