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Penn Badgley Stuns Tribeca

By Alicia Dennis

Greetings from Tim Buckley is not a remarkable film, though you wouldn't have been able to tell that by the audience's reaction at the U.S. premiere screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

But it wasn't really the movie they were cheering for at the American Express-hosted event it was the music. And, perhaps surprisingly to some Gossip Girl fans, Penn Badgley.

When it was announced that Badgley would play Jeff Buckley in the film, which follows the late performer in the days leading up to a tribute for his long-deceased folk hero father, there was a fair amount of consternation. Dan Humphrey, the tragic, romantic rock God? But this was before anyone had heard him sing.

Badgley, a songwriter himself, is never more perfect in the role than when his character is consumed by music. Unfortunately, that's only half the time. In the moments when Jeff is not performing, he is falling in love with one of those bohemian dream girls that seem to pop up in moments of crisis. Allie, played ever-so-adorably by British actress Imogen Poots, seems more like a plot device than a character, even if there are hints of tragedy hidden among her many quirks.

Still, the audience adored it. A man who claimed to have known both Tim and Jeff Buckley took the mic during the post-film Q&A and announced, "I have to tell you, the liberties you took gave me the distance to really love this film."

Penn (as Jeff) performing "Once I Was."

© 2013 Dennis/

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