Toni Colette is a rock critic with a past: an old boyfriend who disappeared on the brink of massive rock stardom. As her career stalls -- and her over-it-all editor Oliver Platt demands something sizzling -- she is sent out to see if the rumors are true. Is the rock star alive? Hiding? Posing as someone else?
Over the course of the film -- produced by Paul Newman's widow Joanne Woodward -- Colette not only has a rich former paramour pay for her research while making a documentary of the process, she has an up-and-coming singer/songwriter woo her in spite of her own aggressive indifference. Sorting through issues of intimacy, striving, fame and our place in the world, what could be little more than an update of "Eddie & the Cruisers" turns into a film where the answers shift, the truths evolve and in the end, Colette finds out the real solution isn't whether or not the rocker is alive, but where she puts her own faith and pining.
Colette us largely undervalued as an actor. Here her transparency is often her willingness to be self-indulgent, shallow, vulnerable and in denial. Always a true reporter, she knows how to chase a story -- and does, in fact, find what she's looking for: clarity on the missing musician's whereabouts.
In the end, though, is it the physical being that matters? Or more the spectre of what was, and the ways that ghost colors/permeates her present and future? These questions are slowly examined in the film, the ending of which isn't the cliche. Well worth the time and the money spent.