Showing posts with label imogen poots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label imogen poots. Show all posts

27 April 2013

Sundance London 2013:The Look Of Love Review

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Scorcese had DeNiro, Tim Burton has Johnny Depp and back in blighty Michal Winterbottom has Steve Coogan. The Look of Love is the pair’s fourth collaborative piece having stumbled upon a beneficial creative partnership on the set of 24 Hour Party People back in 2002. Coogan however will always be tied to a far greater partner, one that infects a number of his roles with or without his directorial mentor – Alan Partridge. We’ll have to wait until August to see his alter-ego’s first foray into the film world but the shadow of Norfolk’s number one DJ looms large over his incarnation of notorious Soho sex-industry king, Paul Raymond.

It’s a criticism often levelled at Coogan and one that can equally be taken as a compliment. So invested was he with his comic creation that he carries the traits, mannerisms and quirks into much of his own life, often spilling out onto screen. Fortunately here it is more appropriate than usual – Paul Raymond shared Partridge’s fondness for an innuendo, an inappropriate remark and a certain pronunciation.

We meet him towards the end of his life, facing questions from the assembled press outside an inquest for daughter Debbie’s fatal overdose in 1992. From there we travel back through Raymond’s ‘world of erotica’, taking in the humble beginnings of a lion taming/ strip show hybrid and knickers removed by dolphins, winding up at the acquisition of the Soho Revue Bar.

Endlessly pushing the boundaries of acceptability, his empire grew to encompass magazines – Men Only, Escort, Mayfair – venues, and no small number of Soho property establishing him as Britain’s wealthiest man. Peering through the glitter curtain, we bear witness to Raymond’s natural charisma - a born entertainer able to hold court with all comers, proving handy with the press and the fairer sex.

The camera invites us to glimpse the coming and goings of various partners, all approved by his understanding wife Jean (ably portrayed by Anna Friel) and his inevitable dalliance with class A’s – a habit he passes on to his much loved daughter, perfectly played by Imogen Poots, breathing life into her poor little rich girl role.

There are familiar faces everywhere, all sourced from the television comedy world; David Walliams as a seedy priest, his comedic partner Matt Lucas as a stage performer, the geeky one from The Inbetweners not exactly stretching himself as Debbie’s boyfriend and The Thick of It’s Chris Addison playing Raymond’s long-standing business partner.

The script itself comes from more British talent, Control scribe Matt Greenhalgh who overreaches in his ambition, stretching the 100 minute running time to take in 50 years of action, meaning years pass in montage form and details are lost in a blur of cocaine and orgies. A keener edit may’ve ironed out some of the slack and delivered a tighter, more focused finish to this tale of hedonism and dubious familial values.

As it is we are offered an interesting look at London through the ages, held up by a commanding performance by Coogan hinting at man at times plagued by, and indebted to his working class roots in equal measure. It’s a tale tailor made for the screen and with Winterbottom at the helm is one that should have soared. Sadly it didn’t, delivering a worthy but unspectacular biopic of a man and an industry who defined a neighbourhood.


Matthew Walsh

Rating: 15
UK Release Date: 26th April 2013 (festival date 25th April 2013)

24 April 2013

The Look Of Love Review

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Whether recounting the autobiographical tale of a renowned public figure in 24 Hour Party People (Tony Wilson) or adapting the supposedly unfilmable novel which charts the life of a fictional character in A Cock and Bull Story, director Michael Winterbottom and actor Steve Coogan are a formidable partnership when it comes to regaling an audience with what can easily be considered quintessentially British films. Winterbottom's latest offering, The Look of Love, marks their fourth collaboration and documents the life of Paul Raymond, a controversial entrepreneur who shot to fame in 60's Soho with his chain of strip clubs and adult publications, and his impressive rise throughout the 70's to the position of Britain's richest man.

Instead of focusing solely on the exploits that made Raymond infamous, The look of Love is an in depth character study that doesn't shy away from his roles as a father and husband, which appear far more demanding to Raymond than working in a profession associated with scantily clad ladies and readily available drugs. There are moments of bleakness throughout the screenplay (such as a stand out scene where Raymond meets his estranged son) but for the most part the decadence of the era, which is shown through the glamour and excess of Raymond and his associates, lightens the mood enough for Winterbottom's film to be an enjoyable diversion whether audiences are familiar with the story or not.

Alan Partridge aside, Coogan has never seemed more at home in a character than in his portrayal of Paul Raymond. Sleazy yet charismatic, Coogan is perfectly cast in the leading role and it is impressive to see him handle the more tender and heartfelt moments of this drama with an emotional depth rarely seen in his acting career. Throughout his life Raymond's obsession with women is ever prevalent;  his wife (Anna Friel) and his lover, Amber (Tamsin Egerton), both have a huge impact on him but none more so than the daughter he dotes on. Debbie (Imogen Poots) appears to be the only girl he cannot bear to be without and Poots displays a wonderful naivety when Debbie is plunged into her father's world of adult entertainment at a young age. Despite this it is Egerton's alluring performance that stands out, and as Amber seduces Raymond, the audience will inevitably follow suit.

As is often the case with Winterbottom's films, appearances by British comedy stalwarts such as Stephen Fry, David Walliams and Dara O'Briain provide welcome comic relief even if their screen time is limited, and in some cases it is disappointing that their characters are not utilised more.

Whilst The Look of Love is not quite as accomplished as Winterbottom's previous autobiographical efforts, it is still nonetheless a captivating study of the man fondly remembered by many as the King of Soho. Not all of the emotional notes will strike a chord with the audience but those that do will linger, and the relationship between Paul Raymond and his carefree daughter Debbie is a joy to behold. The Look of Love may struggle to find an audience but those who seek it out will be rewarded with a surprisingly moving autobiography that showcases Steve Coogan at his best.


Tom Bielby

Rating: 15
UK Release Date: 26th April 2013

1 April 2013

Watch The Greetings From Tim Buckley Trailer

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If there's any stories of musicians  you can talk admirably and tragedy in the same sentence it has to be Tim & Jeff Buckley. Tim Buckley  highly respected throughout the 1970's folk movement  dying of a drug overdose in 1977, his son Jeff  making his name in 1990's tragically drowning 1994 aged 30. Both talented men in their own right both dying young and now they both  have a biopic,Greetings From Tim Buckley which is now ready for its cinematic run after a decent festival run that's included Toronto, London, Glasgow watch official trailer.

Greetings From Tim Buckley actually follows the build up to Jeff's first public appearance in a tribute concert to his father Tim (Ben Rosenfield), its here he meets Allie (Imogen Poots) a young woman involved in the concerts organisation he becomes attracted too. The film follows Jeff (Penn Badgley) attempting to come to terms with his father's loss leading up to his own tragic death.

When Buckley family are very reluctant to support any type of film be it in a supportive way it can be near impossible to be as honest as you can. But as Amy Berg's Mystery White Boy Movie gather's dust Greetings From Tim Buckley  has moved forward with what looks an honest account of 2 talented tragic musicians with a solid performance from Badgley an young actor whose roles previously may not bring confidence to the viewer though this may give the actor a push to bigger and better things.

No word on the film's UK release just yet however American fans can catch the film on VOD later this month and on limited cinema release from 3rd May.

13 March 2013

Watch The UK Trailer For A Late Quartet Starring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Our friends at Artificial Eye Films have sent us over the UK trailer and Poster for A Late Quartet starring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener.

Directed by Yaron Zilberman, A Late Quartet tells the tale of an renowned New York based Quartet on the eve of their 25th Anniversary cellist Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken) announces he wants the upcoming season to be their last. Peter is diagnosed in early stages of Parkinson's disease leaving the the remain members egos to conflict and derail their friendship.

The film has been on the festival circuit since last years Toronto Film Festival  debut and to me the toughest challenge to any actor is playing in a film that's simple in structure but powerful in dramatics. A Late Quartet certainly has the drama and we look like we're in for a masterclass on how to act with the classic music brings a sense of tranquillity to the film too. Most of all after years of seeing him play a villain, tough guy, Christopher Walken does possess acting chops to be more dramatic, its ecstasy to the eyes!

A Late Quartet is due to be released in UK&Ireland on 5th April and co-stars Mark Ivanir and  Imogen Poots .


On the eve of a world renowned string quartet’s 25th anniversary season, their beloved cellist, Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken), is diagnosed with the early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. When Peter announces he wishes to make the upcoming season his last, his three colleagues find themselves at a crossroad. Competing egos and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration.