I am a lifelong Clint Eastwood fan, there have been very few of his film that I did not love whether he is in front of or behind the camera. He has a patience with directing that I am really drawn to, a very old school approach that is often refreshing amidst modern styles. His latest film is an adaptation of the popular stage musical Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
Jersey Boys is the biographical true story of singer Frankie Valli and his group The Four Seasons. A group of friends in New Jersey are a very diverse group of boys but they all have a love of music in common. Following them from singing at local events to their eventual rise to the top of the charts, Jersey Boys focuses on the relationships between the group members, their ups and downs, their personal struggles, family situations and their different styles of coping with fame. But at the heart of The Four Seasons was always how their devotion to each other and to their music was based on a code of honor they learned on the streets of Jersey.
I had not seen the stage production of Jersey Boys but was very familiar with the music of The Four Seasons before seeing Jersey Boys. Aside from Eastwood’s steady and masterful hand behind the camera, and of course the excellent music, the thing that really stands out in Jersey Boys is the performances by the main actors playing the group. John Lloyd Young reprises his stage role as Valli and does not disappoint. A little guy with a big passion for singing and an undeniable determination, Valli is quite the character and is represented admirably by Young. Vincent Piazza is great as the thug of the group, Tommy DeVito, the guy with the connections and the basement full of stuff that ‘fell off a truck’. Michael Lomenda is the reluctant Nick Massi, who just wants to play music and has no patience for the toils of fame, and Erich Bergen is Bob Gaudio, the songwriter who made The Four Seasons a hit and was the mature centre of the group. Also of note is Christopher Walken in a fantastic supporting role as gangster and pseudo-father figure to the group, Gyp DeCarlo. Jersey Boys is a fun and fascinating journey through the history of one of the most famous groups in music history.
The Blu-ray from Warner Home Video is brilliant as to be expected from a film by Eastwood. Beautiful picture all around but the music is what really shines here with a wonderful audio track that brings out all the nuances of the music of The Four Seasons. Jersey Boys is highly recommended.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.