Juliet, Naked is the story of Annie (the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan) and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered, now faded, singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan's musical obsession.
Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.
Agnes, taken for granted as a suburban mother, discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world - where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined.
Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan (Chris O'Dowd) - an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). When the acoustic demo of Tucker's hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, JULIET, NAKED is a comic account of life's second chances.
To create the "classic" album that the character Tucker is best known for, director Jesse Peretz turned to previous collaborator Nathan Larson who worked with him on Our Idiot Brother (2011). Over the course of three years, they wrote songs and requested demos from about 35 artists such as Conor Oberst, Robyn Hitchcock and Ryan Adams. Nathan Larson's inspiration for the music was Big Star's "Third/Sister Lovers" album as well as friend Jeff Buckley. See more »
While Duncan is playing Tucker Crowe's album for Carley and she's looking around the room, there's a poster on the wall for The Pit Club with Crowe's last show in 1993, but it lists Anberlin as headliner of the next show; however, Anberlin wasn't formed until 2002. Also listed on the poster are Drowning Pool (formed 1996), White Rabbits (members met in 2004), Mudvane (formed 1996) and Sick Puppies (formed 1997). See more »
Hello! Welcome to 'Can You Hear Me?', your source for all things Tucker Crowe. If you're here, you're probably already a fan of Tucker's music. But if you're merely 'Crowe-curious', or you clicked on the link by accident, allow me to introduce you to one of the most seminal, and yet unsung, figures of alternative rock.
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There is a scene in the closing credits where Duncan reviews Tucker Crowe's latest album. See more »
Written by Jeff Tweedy
Performed by Wilco
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing and BMG Rights Management (US) LLC
Published by BMG Bumblebee and BMG Platinum Songs See more »
Are you or have you ever been an obsessive music fan? Have you ever dived down deep into an ocean of a particular artist's musical history and eagerly wetted your ears with every last song, half-song, quarter song and brief snippet of high or sometimes even very low, low quality, barely intelligible audio both officially and unofficially available? Have you ever tracked down, with a bloodhound's determination, every book about that artist and every book in which that artist is even only briefly mentioned on page two-hundred and something and then only for a sentence or two that does nothing other than merely confirm to you something you had already had confirmed to you a hundred times before? Have you ever compulsively visited countless websites committed to that same artist's work where other, even more intensely obsessive fans than you have documented and analyzed every last lyric, note, hiccup or cough crafted ever-so-carefully by that same artist, to such an extent that you feel so close to that artist that they are practically a part of you? Well, then, do I have the film for you.
"Juliet, Naked" is a film about a very unique love triangle. The three points of that triangle are: Duncan (Chris O'Dowd), an obsessive fan of an obscure and no longer active singer-songwriter named, Tucker Crowe; Annie (Rose Byrne), Duncan's long suffering girlfriend who feels like she's in competition with Crowe for her boyfriend's attention and is losing; and the object of obsession himself, Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), an easygoing dude, who long ago tossed away his music career, and who now lives in his ex-wife's garage trying to resemble a reasonable facsimile of a father for their son, Jackson (Azhy Robertson).
Based on a novel by Nick Hornby, this, mostly, light and funny, pleasant breeze of a film is a delight from start to finish.
What's mostly on the mind of the writer is the way in which these characters have chosen to lead their lives. Rose has been, and continues to be, way too cautious and, as a result, is suffering from emotional and psychological paralysis. Tucker has been way too reckless and, as a result, is the eye of a rapidly revolving hurricane of relationships that will soon swirl and crash around him with hilarious results. And in the middle, is Duncan who spends way too much of his time focusing on the emotional content of Crowe's songs and very little time focusing on the emotional content contained in the heart of his neglected girlfriend, Annie.
Rose Byrne, as Annie, is plain stuck. She's in a relationship with two men - one who is physically present, but not emotionally, and another who is emotionally present but not physically. Though she is smart and charming and attractive, she is sort of like an airplane waiting at the edge of a runway for permission to take off. Permission that never seems to come and permission she probably doesn't need after all.
Convincing as a woman who fulfills all of the requirements that her outer life demands without actually fulfilling any of the requirements that her inner life does, Byrne is all apologies and accomodations. She is a Rube Goldberg contraption made flesh - balls rolling, dominoes falling, ramps see sawing one way, then another, but, without any greater purpose other than to keep itself going, one day after another, for enjoyment of others.
As the obsessive fan, who runs a comprehensive website about everything and anything Crowe, frequently chats with other Crowe obsessives on-line and has a well maintained and more than slightly creepy shrine to the man in the basement of his and Annie's home, O'Dowd is just goofy enough to trigger the necessary laughs without being so goofy that he becomes a one note joke.
The film pays real careful attention to Duncan's emotional connection to Crowe and his songs. Sure, the film, and I assume the book, plays his obsessing for laughs, but, it also respects it, too. That is no more clear then in a pivotal scene, somewhere in the middle moving towards the end of the film, where Duncan and Crowe come face to face, sharing a dinner table with neglected girlfriend and no longer neglected son. Obsessive fan collides with the object of his obsession and the results, though predictably awkward, cringe worthy and painfully funny, also reveal each character's sensitive sore spots. The scene sticks its' landing and then some. It's wonderfully played out.
Overall, O'Dowd manages to create a memorable human being in Duncan who is, ultimately, deeply flawed, but, nonetheless, understandable and sympathetic. He sees so much in others who are far away and so little in those who are close by. He is so intensely focused on his obsession for the words and music of Tucker Crowe that he has no more energy left for his afterthought of a girlfriend. If his life could be summed up in an album's worth of tracks, the first twelve songs would be about Crowe and a thirteenth, hidden track, would be about Annie.
And Hawke? He plays casual, broken and messed up with an ease that is always charming and affecting. He does a fine job of slipping into the skin of a man who has just recently caught up to his responsibilities and is making a genuine, though clumsy, attempt to unscrew up as much of his screwed up life as he can. He's like someone walking through the rubble of a neighbourhood recently devastated by an 9.0 earthquake with all the concern of a man browsing for swim trunks at a local department store.
The direction is unobtrusive and workmanlike. The pace is steady and never lags.
A real surprise. Catch it if you can.
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