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'Born to Be Blue' is unsatisfying and fragmented

( Unrated ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

In 'Blue,' actor Ethan Hawke portrays West Coast trumpeter jazz legend Chet Baker. The movie is strange, but at its best it belongs in the same unconventional continuum as fellow music movies 'I’m Not There' and 'Love and Mercy.'

Courtesy of Caitlin Cronenberg/IFC Films
Ethan Hawke plays legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in 'Born to Be Blue.'

Ethan Hawke plays West Coast trumpeter jazz legend Chet Baker in Robert Budreau’s “Born to Be Blue,” and he captures Baker’s downward spiral into drug addiction even as he tried to fashion a new “cool” sound.

It’s a strange, unsatisfying, fragmented movie, but at its best it belongs in the same unconventional continuum as Todd Haynes’s “I’m Not There” (about Bob Dylan) and “Love and Mercy” (about Brian Wilson). Grade: B- (This film is unrated.)

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