Cobain: Montage of Heck

Director: Brett Morgen
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 2.0

Morgen, granted access to personal materials by late Nirvana guitarist Kurt Cobain - including audio recordings, video footage and drawings/notebooks - shows the troubled star from birth on to international fame and reveals his personal feelings on being famous (and battle with heroin addiction and depression). For those paying attention, the word "genius" is mentioned within the first two minutes so you know where Morgen stands on Kurt as an artist - don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for Nirvana's music, but that's a word that should always be used with reservation - and the constant animated segments (based on Kurt's artwork) are garish and over-directed, distracting from a story about a troubled man. With the plethora of films and books about Cobain that have surfaced since his suicide in 1994, this is not exactly groundbreaking journalism, either, yet it does contain a few new details about Kurt (on-screen interviews with Cobain's family) and some touching (if sad) footage of him and Courtney, strung out on dope but very much in love with each other and their child (the scene with Kurt and Frances during her birthday, with Kurt nodding off from the drugs, is painful to watch). Ms. Love, who has been much-maligned (either justifiably or not ... depends on what you believe), smokes and trembles and admits she almost (?) cheated on Kurt: like her or not - and she's definitely not an angel - she does appear convincing (or is, by now, convinced what she's saying is true). Noticeably (and suspiciously) absent: Mr. Grohl.