Rocketman (2019)

  • Gist: circa-1990 Elton John, in rehab for alcohol and drug abuse, frame-narrates his childhood and career to that point, alternating heartbreaks with magically realist musical high points.
  • Acting: Taron Egerton impressively–uh–fleshes out the part of the troubled, volatile, and brilliantly dynamic singer, down to the Chaplinesque body language, while the sparse support cast fills in mostly flat but believable portraits of people in John’s life.
  • Editing: Most impressive here is the pacing, compressing a huge number of life moments into a coherent and throughly entertaining narrative.
  • Cold, creepy parents: 2
  • Cold, creepy agents: 1
  • Drug-fueled tantrums: 5 or 6 or so
  • Halloween Mardi-gras Festivale What-the-hell-IS-he costumes: 12
  • Breathtaking music-video moments: 20
  • Ups and Downs: As long as you don’t mind having your heart torn out…popped open like an egg…fried into a delicious omelet…eaten and pooped out….to fertilize a bed of beautiful roses….on which a swarm of killer bees comes to rest…who then go turn the pollen into a pot of the sweetest honey–a cycle repeated three times–you’ll be fine.

Conclusion: See it.