A fantastic Ethan Hawke, as Chet Baker, infuses Born To Be Blue with some real soul

If there was really any doubting Ethan Hawke`s ability to act it is really gone by the time you watch Born To Be Blue, a bio-pic courtesy of Quebecois director Robert Budreau about Chet Baker`s life and career. Whenever you have the looks or the charisma people tend to take your acting skills for granted, but Hawke really, genuinely is a great actor and I wouldn`t be surprised if he eventually does get an Oscar one day. He did get nominated for his edgy turn in Training Day, obviously overshadowed by his co-star Denzel Washington`s Oscar-winning performance as Alonzo Harris, but guess what? Hawke was just as good as Washington in that movie.

Born To Be Blue has him playing Chet Baker, the famous Jazz trumpeteer who was compared, back in the day, to a James Dean for jazz. A heavy duty comparison, and Baker definitely couldn`t handle it all. The movie showcases the usual tropes that most bio-pics about musical genuises showcase: Alcoholism, drugs, womanzing, a love partner that never gives up on him etc. The difference here is that Budreau really twists the narrative around and has Baker starring in a movie about himself, playing himself and reconstructing the key moments of his life. The film set footage is mixed with Baker off-set struggling with his demons. The lines between reality and fiction do blur up at some point, but it`s all part of the thrill of watching this movie.