6.6/10
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Blaze (2018)

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A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement.

Director:

Ethan Hawke
4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Dickey ... Blaze Foley
Alia Shawkat ... Sybil
Charlie Sexton ... Townes Van Zandt
Josh Hamilton ... Zee
Kris Kristofferson ... Edwin Fuller
Richard Linklater ... Oilman
Sam Rockwell ... Oilman
Steve Zahn ... Oilman
Gurf Morlix Gurf Morlix ... Self
Ethan Hawke ... Radio DJ
Alynda Segarra ... Marsha (as Alynda Lee Segarra)
Sybil Rosen Sybil Rosen ... Mrs. Rosen
Nancy Roppolo Nancy Roppolo ... Outhouse Waitress 1
David Hinson David Hinson ... Outhouse Cook
Aaron Augustus Aaron Augustus ... Bus Boy
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Storyline

Inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze's past, present and future. The different strands explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen; his last, dark night on earth; and the impact of his songs and his death had on his fans, friends, and foes. The braided storyline terminates in a bittersweet ending that acknowledges Blaze's profound highs and lows, as well as the impressions he made on the people who shared his journey. Written by Michiel Hanswijk

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a True Texas Love Story

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blaze See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,050, 19 August 2018

Gross USA:

$704,955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$704,955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second film involving students of the Ringling College of Art and Design to open at the Sundance Festival. The first one was Dark Night (2016) which opened at the festival in 2016. See more »

Goofs

During a montage scene when Blaze is writing postcards from the road, Sybil is shown counting a handful of redesigned $20 bills. Foley was killed in 1989, but the redesigned $20 was not available to the public until 1998. See more »

Connections

Featured in Conan: Ethan Hawke/Daniel Sloss/Ninja Sex Party (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A different kind of music-bio
4 November 2019 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

After many years in the industry, working with some of the best directors around and collaborating with some of the brightest actors of all-time has no doubt embedded actor/director Ethan Hawke with a healthy dose of film-making nuance.

Utilising his years' worth of skill development and expertise, Hawke has previously released feature films Chelsea Walls and The Hottest State, but with his newest venture Blaze, based around the true story of Texas musician Blaze Foley, Hawke has filmed a unique musical biopic with some memorable acting turns too truly make his mark behind the camera, not just in front of it.

With so many music founded biopics coming our way in all many shapes and forms, it's always special when a biopic with a different flavour finds its way into our viewing habitats and with its fresh delivery, eye capturing Southern America surrounds and standout lead performance from musician/actor Ben Dickey as Foley, Blaze is a fever dream like experience that may take a while to warm up to, but once it does, you will be under its charming spell.

Centred around a fateful live performance in Foley's career, a radio interview (with Hawke the hidden interviewer) with two of his band-mates who are reminiscing about the performer and Foley's dreamlike times with the love of his life Sybil (played energetically by Ali Shawkat), Blaze treads a path less trodden in its examination of a flawed but talented individual whose mark on the musical scene is still felt to this day.

With Foley living a far from normal lifestyle, moving from a home in the wilderness, couch hoping and living gig to gig, Hawke ensures Blaze feels like we are kept on the hop also, unable to feel comfortable with any run of the mill occurrences as Foley's tumultuous and ever-changing mindset and life become the very crux of the film.

Its off-putting at first, but before long you get swept up in the way in which Foley's story is unfolding before your eyes, feeling every ounce of passion in his songs, hurting at his pain that is so often evident to all and falling under the spell of a man that could be as charming as he was frustrating.

Due to this nature there are times we're it would've been nice to stop and smell the roses for a little longer, allowing us more emotional investment and knowledge gathering but with Foley's music front and centre and Dickey fully inhabiting a larger than life character with a plethora of heart and soul, the unique life of Foley is brilliantly bought to feature film life by Hawke, who quite clearly had a strong affiliation and care for his subject matter.

Final Say -

Far from a straight forward biopic of an anything but orthodox musician and person, Blaze is a strong new addition to Ethan Hawke's increasingly growing collection of cinematic wins that is bought to life by a wonderful understanding of its subject matter and an awards worthy turn from Ben Dickey.

3 ½ mid-gig fist fights out of 5


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