NOT FADE AWAY (David Chase) 112 minutes. For venues and times, see listings.
This is obviously a very personal film from the creator of The Sopranos, a coming-of-age story set in the 60s told from the perspective of Doug-las (John Magaro), who, inspired by the Rolling Stones, forms a band and tries to make it big.
Not Fade Away is lovingly art-directed, with a soundtrack expertly selected by Steve Van Zandt that mines the music of the times. Who ever expected to hear Tracy Nelson's Down So Low in a feature film?
But there's almost nothing new in the story itself. Douglas goes to college and gets radicalized, freaking out his father (James Gandolfini) - a wholly predictable relationship that wraps up with a scene so clichéd it will induce groans.
The band members attract the most beautiful girls, especially Grace (Bella Heathcote), who's hot for Douglas, argue about who should be the lead singe and get a flicker of interest from an influential manager who wants to cramp their emerging creativity and make them stick to covers.
A subplot in which Grace's sister becomes a drug casualty, however, has a lot of soul. And Not Fade Away's profound belief in the power of rock 'n' roll is irresistibly idealistic, even though it's not clear whether Chase actually buys in to the idea that rock can change the world.
If you grew up in the era, you'll love this. Almost no one else will get it.