'Round Midnight
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A French music lover befriends a once-great American jazz artist and attempts to save him from self-destruction in this moody drama. Saxophonist Dexter Gordon portrays Dale Turner, a fictional musician inspired by a number of famed jazz figures, including Bud Powell and Lester Young. Largely forgotten in his home country, Turner has moved to Paris in search of a more appreciative audience. He finds it in the form of Francis Borler (Francois Cluzet), a bebop aficionado who befriends the expatriate player. Borler soon becomes familiar with Turner's darker side, including his struggles with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Round Midnight is a superbly crafted music world drama in which Gallic director Bertrand Tavernier pays a moving dramatic tribute to the great black musicians who lived and performed in Paris in the late 1950s."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"No actor could do what the great jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon does in 'Round Midnight."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Dexter Gordon received a Best Actor nomination and Herbie Hancock the Original Score Music Oscar for this moody jazz piece anout an alcoholic musician down on his luck."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"One of the best jazz films ever made, this succeeds by melding French sensibilities about atmosphere with American sensibilities about the music."
‑ , Film4
"Guided by the spirit of the art form it celebrates, Tavernier's film is a mesmerizing audio-visual lament for the impending death of jazz"
‑ Dan Jardine, All Movie Guide
"The director's perenially heavy mood seems especially well suited to this indigo-shaded story of a black American saxman (Dexter Gordon) living and performing in Paris in the late 50s."
‑ Pat Graham, Chicago Reader
"You do not need to know a lot about jazz to appreciate what is going on because, in a certain sense, this movie teaches you everything about jazz that you really need to know."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"He's not just writing about a dying old man, he's writing about jazz."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"It's a brooding yet warm elegy, as plaintive as a slow, low-toned ballad in a minor key."
‑ Mark Bourne, DVDJournal.com
"Dale Turner, as played by Dexter Gordon, seems to be an amalgam of Bud Powell and Lester Young, but the private, rueful dignity that he brings to bear is all his own."
‑ , Time Out
"Gordon goes the limit as Turner, dedicating his performance to all the cats who've gone before."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Tavernier's striking widescreen frame established the rainy, neon-and-smoke filled world of the jazz film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The film's quality lies not just in its vivid portrayal of the bebop milieu, but also in its sensitive examination of the turbulent forces within an artist compelled to create on a nightly basis, despite personal consequences."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for 'Round Midnight on Rotten Tomatoes