6.6/10
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21 user 54 critic

Blaze (2018)

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2:15 | Trailer
A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement.

Director:

Ethan Hawke
4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Dickey ... Blaze Foley
Alia Shawkat ... Sybil
Charlie Sexton ... Townes Van Zandt
Josh Hamilton ... Zee
Kris Kristofferson ... Edwin Fuller
Richard Linklater ... Oilman
Sam Rockwell ... Oilman
Steve Zahn ... Oilman
Gurf Morlix Gurf Morlix ... Self
Ethan Hawke ... Radio DJ
Alynda Segarra ... Marsha (as Alynda Lee Segarra)
Sybil Rosen Sybil Rosen ... Mrs. Rosen
Nancy Roppolo Nancy Roppolo ... Outhouse Waitress 1
David Hinson David Hinson ... Outhouse Cook
Aaron Augustus Aaron Augustus ... Bus Boy
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Storyline

Inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze's past, present and future. The different strands explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen; his last, dark night on earth; and the impact of his songs and his death had on his fans, friends, and foes. The braided storyline terminates in a bittersweet ending that acknowledges Blaze's profound highs and lows, as well as the impressions he made on the people who shared his journey. Written by Michiel Hanswijk

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a True Texas Love Story

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Blaze Foley's lover Sybil Rosen, who is played in the film by Alia Shawkat, is Ethan Hawke's co-writer on the film. See more »

Goofs

When the Van Zandt character describes various dice combinations, he calls two fives "Box Cars". In fact it's two sixes that go by that name. See more »

Connections

Featured in Conan: Ethan Hawke/Daniel Sloss/Ninja Sex Party (2018) See more »

User Reviews

Delicate and heartfelt portrait of a songwriter by his lover
21 May 2019 | by Chris_KirkSee all my reviews

Blaze is an affectionately told story of songwriter Blaze Foley from the perspective of his wife, who wrote a memoir about him and co-wrote the screenplay with Ethan Hawke. As a result it is very personal, intimate and delicate, especially the love that Blaze and Sybil share. Their time together in the treehouse in the forest, when Blaze begins to write songs, when he conceives his public name, is very much about the opening of two human hearts and though Blaze talks about wanting to be a legend, there are no legends being depicted here just genuine feeling beings learning to express the delicate and precious parts of themselves. Sybil encourages Blaze to share his songs with the world and so they venture out of their intimate paradise.

The world is a bit harder and meaner and Blaze and his crew of singer-songwriters, including Townes Van Sandt, drink excessively. The film certainly does not take a moralistic view of this, but the damage it does to them and their interaction with the world is obvious. Ben Dickey as Blaze is an extremely nuanced and heartfelt performance. He loves with all of himself and he even hides his gifts with the same passion.

There are not many recordings of Blaze in existence, and it is the love of his friends that allows anything of the man's music to have survived. If the film communicates anything above the very moving and involving human drama, it suggests patience, respect and compassion for those on stage trying to communicate something with us that is complex, delicate and precious. Our world would be unliveable if people like Blaze did not risk their vulnerability to share their most gentle delicate parts with us. The attempted record company execs who tried to build a label around him didn't get it, though they must have recognised his talent. The audience didn't seem to get it, reacting to his anger and his defensiveness more than his music, but his friends did, and his lover certainly did. And so have the filmmakers, who offer us this delicate portrait in a way that can't be misunderstood, only felt.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blaze See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,050, 19 August 2018

Gross USA:

$704,955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$704,955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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