Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

This Hollywood biography of the prodigious 1950s rock star often plays like a light musical, which enables the narrative to absorb the punches of Lewis’s unsavory personal life. Specifically, his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin Myra (played here to girlish perfection by Winona Ryder), is presented as inevitable – as it’s intrinsically linked to Lewis’s notorious fall from grace – and while the movie never judges its subjects, it nevertheless subtly focuses on the implications and consequences of these social deviations. The music itself is still absolutely incredible and Dennis Quaid is clearly having the time of his life playing this larger-than-life performer, all leading to a uniquely entertaining screen biography that covers a lot of ground rather succinctly and effectively.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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