Filmmaker Josh Greenbaum’s Becoming Bond tells the story of George Lazenby, the forgotten 007.
The film is based on a single interview with the 76-year-old Lazenby, as he looks back on his life, and the incredible decision not to sign on to play James Bond multiple times and become a millionaire movie star.
Lazenby grew up in Goulburn, NSW. A sickly child, he was only expected to live to the age of 12. As a result, he decided to live life to the maximum.
A larrikin at school (he once released a live snake into the classroom), he failed academically, went into an apprenticeship as a car mechanic, then became a used car salesman.
Life and love took him to London, where he was noticed by a fashion photographer. Within months, Lazenby was one of the most sought after male models of his day.
From there, the film follows his journey to becoming Bond: how he got the job with no acting experience; how he played the star game, and why he walked away from it.
Josh Lawson is very good playing the young Lazenby in a series of re-enactment scenes, all of which have a very Australian humour to them. The soundtrack of the film is also very good, with much being placed over restless drums, which really helps with the comedy of the first few scenes.
Set in the swinging 60s, this movie doesn’t hold back on over-the-top recreations of highlights from Lazenby’s extensive sex life. It’s mostly funny but quite full-on. You have been warned.
Overall, this is a great film for any Bond fans, or even you’re completely new to the franchise, it’s enjoyable. If you’ve never seen On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, you’ll want to.
Becoming Bond (15+)
American Essentials Film Festival