Clint Eastwood directing Jersey Boys might be the most odd-coupling of director and musical material since John Huston made Annie. Like Huston, Eastwood has a Broadway hit to rely upon; in fact, he’s even got the Tony-nominated writers and the show’s Tony-winning star, John Lloyd Young as falsetto master Frankie Valli. “With his slicked-back pompadour and wardrobe of sharkskin suits, Young looks more like the late Bruno Kirby than Valli,” says EW’s critic Chris Nashawaty. “But when he opens his mouth, you believe you’re listening to the real deal. He finds every ounce of sweat, aftershave, and salad dressing that made up Valli’s one-of-a-kind voice.”
The story of the Four Seasons, who came up in a rough Italian-American neighborhood in New Jersey and flirted with real danger on their way to fame and fortune, is still a Broadway sensation, and the quartet’s unique and nostalgic sound gives the film a bankable attraction. Eastwood, now 84, leans heavily on the stage show, adapting its Rashomon storytelling style, with frequent fourth-wall-breaking dialogue where the characters give the camera their versions of the truth.
Of the band, the only newcomer to the material is Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), who plays hot-headed Tommy DeVito, and Christopher Walken plays a godfather, of sorts, who helps the boys when trouble arises.
Read more from EW’s review, as well as a round-up of other notable critics, below. READ FULL STORY