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The Beach Bum

He used to be a poet and dreamt of writing the Great American novel, then Moondog created a life for himself that‘s comfortable, like one long, warm sunset.


Harmony Korine‘s new film BEACH BUM could be called an ode to pot smoking that consists of not much more than watching Moondog (played by Matthew McConaughey) get high for 95 minutes. Shaggy, tan, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing-basking-in-the-sun Moondog has a joint in his hand and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon or some other alcoholic drink in the other in practically every scene. Moondog settled into a comfortable life between Miami and the Florida Keys, like one long, warm sunset. He was once a successful poet who wrote explicit songs about life and love, inspired by his wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) who lives in a fancy villa in Miami and hopes that Moondog will fulfill his long-standing dream of writing the Great American novel. It‘s only when Minnie dies in a car accident that Moondog feels the need to write again, at least a little: he will only inherit Minnie‘s money, if he publishes the novel.

This sounds like a conventional plot at first, but Korine isn‘t concerned with that. He shows a man who is at peace with himself, who doesn‘t need more than the sun and a joint. Matthew McConaughey is perfectly cast, giving a late quasi-continuation of his legendary character from Richard Linklater‘s DAZED AND CONFUSED. Moondog traverses the world in a state of constant anaesthetization, even the accidental death of his beloved wife doesn‘t get to him too much. Life does go on, the next joint is already lit. Less a story and more of a description of a condition, BEACH BUM is a soft, warm, and sun-drenched intoxication.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Beach Bum
USA 2019, 95 min
Language: English, Spanish
Genre: Comedy
Director: Harmony Korine
Author: Harmony Korine
DOP: Benoît Debie
Montage: Douglas Crise
Music: John Debney
Distributor: Constantin Film Verleih
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence
FSK: 16
Release: 28.03.2019




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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