30 April 2014

Blu-ray Review - Gregory's Girl (1981)


Genre:
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Distributor:
Second Sight Films
BD/DVD Release Date:
5th May 2014(UK)
Rating:12
Director:
John Forsyth
Cast:
John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn, Jake D'Arcy, Clare Grogan
Buy:Gregory's Girl [DVD] or [Blu-ray]

Gregory’s Girl is considered by many one of the great British films, as well as being regularly cited as one of the best depictions of teenagers on film and rightfully so. It was Bill Forsyth’s 2nd film after the recently re-released That Sinking Feeling, and although debatable, it’s a much better film.

The story as you can guess is about a teenager called Gregory in a new town outside of Glasgow. He is the archetypal awkward teenager and plays for the school football team. They are absolutely useless and hold a trial for new players, but when Dorothy joins the team following the sexist coach’s misgivings she becomes the star player. Gregory is infatuated with Dorothy but so are the majority of the boys of the school. He eventually builds up the courage to ask her out; she accepts, but not everything goes exactly to plan.

Gregory’s Girl is very much a film of its time but in the best possible way. It’s a perfect example of Thatcher era filmmaking, albeit it’s never a political film even though Forsyth is clearly of the left. It’s a very compassionate film about young people and also the struggles of young people in the new creation of a “New Town”. It also has a now-hilarious and extremely outdated 80s sax-heavy score that is the epitome of 1980s cheese. Clare Grogan has plays a pivotal role in the film but she would soon gain more fame as the leader singer of the Scottish new wave band Altered Images.

The disc includes a commentary with Bill Forsyth and Mark Kermode. It also includes an insightful interview with Bill Forsyth in which he talks about his career up to Gregory’s Girl. A short interview with Clara Grogan also features in which she talks about her role in the film and the impact it’s had on her life. The infamous dubbed version of posh Scottish accents instead of the original working class Glaswegian accents is also included, which is worth watching for the hilarity of it alone.

★★★★

Ian Schultz

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