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Spinning Gold – Review

Sometimes the people closest to us are the wrong people to write and direct biographies of the people they care about. That is the biggest issue with Spinning Gold, the story of Neil Bogart – the co-founder of Casablanca records who changed the music industry. His son, Timothy Scott Bogart decided to write and direct the biography about his father, and while it certainly is an interesting topic and one that boasts some incredible performances, the issue lays in the fact that the biopic focuses more on the musical acts and bands he helped formed, versus him himself. It also takes some weird turns where it breaks the third wall and feels very out of place, however the musical performances throughout the film and the performances are more than enough to make up for some weird artistic choices.

The film focuses on Neil Bogart (Jeremy Jordan) on his journey to stardom as with his label at Casablanca he signed legendary acts such as KISS, Donna Summer, The Village People, and so forth. However life of a band representative/label exec isn’t easy, and this is what inevitably leads towards divorcing his first wife, Beth (Michelle Monaghan). He later married KISS co-manager Joyce (Lyndsey Fonesca) and this leads to a few issues as he feels theres some personal drama being dragged into the mix with his music. After that he gets introduced into the world of drugs and his involvement in PolyGram. While the film leaves some of the more well documented facts out in favour of a slightly happier telling, anyone who is familiar with Bogart is going to be slightly exhausted with the story telling.

Thankfully the performances throughout Spinning Gold more than make up for the story that is altered. Jeremy Jordan excels in the role of Neil Bogart and brings to life the label co-founder and his life accomplishments, while both Michelle Monaghan and Lyndsey Fonesca bring to life their respective roles as Bogart’s wives. Everyone in the film truly delivers some great performances, but their performances don’t entirely save the movie from its otherwise mediocrity. The film focuses too much on the musical acts, and outside factors more than it does Bogart itself, which should’ve been the overarching plot points and more heavily reliant as a character study.

Spinning Gold takes the biography in a new direction, to mixed results. While the performances are great, it is their focus that is slightly off kelter. There is a lot to enjoy about Spinning Gold, but it is far too messy to be a great biopic, considering there are so many great musical biopics. Jeremy Jordan and Michelle Monaghan shine, and with most of the cast being actual musicians, it does provide some incredible musical moments.

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Spinning Gold – Review


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About The Author

My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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