Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is an example of a director who knows his craft and pushes his own boundaries to deliver something fresh and exciting. The film premiered to raucous applause in the Paramount Theatre in Austin at SXSW.
Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, a getaway driver working off a debt to an enigmatic bank robbery boss played by Kevin Spacey. Baby has what’s described as “a hum in the drum” that was the result of a car accident when he was young. The constant ringing in his ears can only be drowned out by music. And that’s where the film derives its uniqueness.
All the action of the film is choreographed to the carefully selected songs of the film. For example, the opening high-adrenaline car chase is set beautifully to “Bellbottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion while a later mellow scene is set against “Easy” by The Commodores.
The concept came to Wright over two decades ago, he told the audience in a Q&A after the film screened. Every scene was written with the corresponding song in mind. No song was added in post as an afterthought. In fact, it could be argued the songs wrote the movie. The auteur director would listen to his personal record collection and wouldn’t write a scene until he found the right song – a unique way to write a script for sure.
Wright is known for such classic cinema as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as well as laying all the groundwork for Ant Man. But this is the first time he’s filmed in the US with pretty much an all-American cast. The cast includes Jon Hamm, Lily James, Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal. Even Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role.
Baby Driver roars into theaters on August 11th.