Author(s): AJ Bell
"Here We Are Now"
Written and Directed by Todd Haynes
Joe Anderson – Kurt Cobain
Scarlet Johannsen – Courtney Love
Matthew Lewis – Krist Novoselic
Jason Lee – Dave Grohl
Unknown 10 year old– Young Kurt Cobain
Tagline: "His passion was his music. His music made him famous. His fame destroyed him"
Synopsis: Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This should be pretty easy to understand.
-Kurt Cobain's Suicide Note's First words.
1974 – Southwest of Seattle, WA
7 year old Kurt sits across the kitchen table from his parents. They are telling him that they plan on getting a divorce. Over the next 9 years Kurt is shuttled from estranged relative, to estranged relative in the hopes of finding a place where he truly belongs. A shame though, that there is no where on earth Kurt would ever feel he belonged.
1983- Aberdeen, WA
Teenage Kurt(Joe Anderson) is a misunderstood high schooler. His counselors all believe his poetry to be anarchistic, whilst he knows it is just the reply to the longing for a sense of appreciation. A sense of love. A love he never thinks he gets. His enemies are the preps, the jocks, the "cool" kids. They wouldn't know cool if it bit them in the jockstrap. They often beat him up after school, but he just bottles it inside, and lets it flow out into words. At this juncture of his life, the only thing he cares about is Joy Division.
1985- Olympia, WA
Aberdeen is a waste of time, Kurt says. He is moving to bigger and better things. In Olympia he forms a small garage band. He and his friends, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, decide to call it Nirvana. The legacy has begun. Fans start to crowd around the garage for their practices and they get a few small gigs before being noticed. They get signed to an indie record label, and Bleach was made. They were turned into underground mega stars overnight.
1991- Seattle, WA
The band signs with a major label, Geffen, and records Nevermind. Their mainstream success is growing, but Kurt's happiness is not what it should be. The fame eats at him. He can't stand being this big. This important. He looks at his fans, and all he can see in the crowd are these preppy white boys, the same that used to beat him up in high school. His next album, In Utero, was a scapegoat for all his emotional distresses. But they didn't understand, they just kept coming back for more. He couldn't go on like this.
1992- Courtney, Kurt's Love
Kurt was at a gig with the band when he spotted a groupie in the crowd. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. Her pure rock and roll beauty astounded him. Afterwards he invited her back to his place. Her name was Courtney. Courtney Love. The night was one the greatest nights of his life, spent doing cocaine, heroin, and making love to Love. He knew this was going to be the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Over the next two years, their relationship was spent writing songs, fighting, loving, shooting up, and having a beautiful daughter. Courtney inspired much of his later work, and it was hailed by critics as his most emotionally charged art. She was his teen spirit.
1993 – MTV Studios
The band plays for MTV's Unplugged show. The performance was hailed as one of the greatest live performances of all time. This pleased Kurt, since he knew it was going to be one of his last. 5 months later, after having a child with the woman he was married to, Courtney Love, he locked his house, grabbed a shotgun off his wall, and slowly but surely, the wind put out the flame, of a candle named Kurt Cobain.
I don't have the passion anymore, so remember, its better to burn out than to fade away.
Peace, Love, Empathy.
What the Press would say:In Todd Haynes's magnificent new biopic, Here We Are Now, Haynes paints the portrait of a poet tormented by his fame. His anguish is clearly due to the lack of structure and care he received as a child. The story itself is so brilliantly molded with pieces of archival footage, excerpts from Cobain's suicide note, and music taken from some of Nirvana's brightest moments. The most inventive scene is at the end, where Haynes mixes the MTV unplugged performance(remade of course) with Cobain's suicide. Beautifully haunting and heartbreakingly brilliant.
Joe Anderson's portrayal is brilliant. He has moved up the ranks from supporting character (Control, Across the Universe) to leading man, and does so with a bang! He is the embodiment of what Cobain stood for. He walks like Cobain, talks in that sort of Mumble/Drawl that Cobain did. He moves on stage so much like Kurt, that it is scary. This is definitely the best performance of the year.
Scarlett Johannson is a marvel playing the drugged out groupie in love, as Courtney Love. Love is, by all means, a trainwreck. An Johannson plays it to perfection. We see the love in her eyes, as she looks at Kurt. We see that underneath all the rock, all the drugs, all the sex, that Cobain and Love had something most people will never have. True love.
The supporting characters are great too. Jason Lee as Dave Grohl and Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis as Krist Novoselic. All shine in the scenes they support. All worthy of many awards.
This film goes up as one of the greats in terms of biopics. It is one of the standout films of the year, and many would compare it to 2003's Last Days, but if someone were to try and compare the two, they would fail, simply because this is such an instant classic. If I were to quote Cobain himself, "Here we are now, entertain us" well you have Kurt, you have.
BEST DIRECTOR – Todd Haynes
BEST ACTOR – Joe Anderson
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Jason Lee
BEST ACTRESS – Scarlet Johannsen
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY