Starring: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas
Director: Gus van Sant
As a cinematic aesthetic exercise, Last Days will fascinate cinema buffs who enjoy beautiful portrayals of the enigmatic.
And it looks good as well.
Others will find it tedious and, perhaps, trite in its treatment of the burnt-out star.
Director Gus van Sant has written as well as directed and declares that he has drawn from the last days of Kurt Cobain in his depiction of Blake (Michael Pitt in a well wrought performance).
This means that we watch, often stare at length, at glimpses of a rock star in mortal decline – loss of self-confidence and the will to perform, drugs, fickle friends and hangers-on or, in the words of his final song, “it’s a long, lonely journey from death to birth”.
While van Sant wants to offer a tribute interpretation of artists like Cobain, the world he offers is a mixture of grunge and nihilism that seems hopelessly depressing.
Peggy Lee, long before, sang “Is that all there is?”