20,000 Days on Earth

20,000 Days on Earth ★★★★

Came in with no real relationship to Nick Cave or his music and loved this trip... It doesn't exactly enter F FOR FAKE territory, but it's just contrived and calibrated enough, with Cave openly musing about his fascination with narratives and instinctive need to embellish his own experiences, that it wouldn't shock me to learn that the "documentary's" only bit of truth – so far as these things go – is what I came in already knowing: Cave is a fringe rock star who spends a lot of time writing and recording songs. Maybe he doesn't live in Brighton, isn't married to a (stunning) woman named Suzie, doesn't have twin boys, doesn't see a therapist, and there's no team of people in a dark basement archiving the artifacts of his personal and professional history. Or I could just as easily accept that every last bit of it is true – so far as these things go.

Of course, I could do a quick Google search... but why spoil the enigma with facts? Wouldn't be in keeping with the artistic spirit of a movie where Ray Winstone and Kylie Minogue, playing themselves, can suddenly appear, like apparitions, in Cave's backseat.

All real or all fake, there are few people, real or fake, who are so effortlessly cool on screen, and who can muse about their life and their work without sounding even slightly self-aggrandizing or pretentious.

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Adam Kempenaar liked this review