Saturday, October 06, 2007

CONTROL left me wondering why Toby Kebbell and Samantha Morton aren't more famous than, say, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley

I hate hot dogsCONTROL is a bloody brilliant biopic of Ian Curtis. I'm assuming everyone who is thinking of seeing this is already a fan and doesn't need me to explain how iconic Curtis is and what a tragic story this is. Suffice to say that this adaptation does him no dis-service. It's based on the book by Curtis' wife Debbie and directed by Anton Corbijn - the Dutch photographer and video director. Corbijn completely understands how to capture the grime and the beauty of ordinary life, and does so in stunning black and white photography. He also understands how to photograph gigs and how to make an ordinary Northern lad, still working at the labour exchange, look like an idol once the stage lights go on. Another big directorial choice is to let the young cast recreate the songs rather than mime them. This might piss off purists but it helps the performances hang together. The casting is perfect. Samantha Morton gives another outstanding performance as Curtis' young loyal wife; Sam Riley is heart-breaking in the central role; Joe Anderson as Hooky portrays a diametrically opposed character to the dappy hippy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, showing his range; and Toby Kebbell steals every scene he's in as Rob Gretton. The only slight problem I have with the movie is its decision to perpetuate the Tony-Wilson-signing-the-contract-in-his-own-blood myth. But the scene is so funny what can you do?! Seriously, folks, this movie demands your time and earns your respect. I would, however, love to hear how anyone who hadn't heard of Curtis reacted to the film.....

CONTROL played Cannes and Toronto 2007. It is currently on release in Belgium, France and the UK. It opens in the US and the Netherlands next week and in Greece, Australia, and Norway later in October. It opens in Germany on January 10th 2008.

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