Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Film: 'ONE CHANCE'

(Lest it be thought that I've been unduly negligent in my duty of reviewing recent releases, in my defence it ought to be pointed out that in the over two weeks since my last posting there has been a dearth of films circulating which I wished to see. In fact there was only one, 'The Selfish Giant', now been and gone, which was a possibility but which I eventually couldn't bring myself to attend on knowing that it featured horses quite prominently.)

I'd assumed that this present film was going to be a bit of an oddity, especially for someone like me whose knowledge of the central personality being portrayed is seriously wanting.

It claims to be based on the true story of one Paul Potts, a sort of male equivalent of Susan Boyle, who found fame by winning a T.V. talent show, in this case, 'Britain's Got Talent', with panel of judges led by Simon Cowell who appears as himself in this film, and is also one of its producers. (I've only ever seen this T.V.  programme 'accidentally' when switching channels, and never been able to endure it for many minutes longer).

James Corden plays Potts very well, I thought. (His singing voice is dubbed by Potts himself) He's an untrained, opera-obsessed amateur tenor who has to be pushed to jump through hoops to get the acknowledgement he yearns. He seems to have led a very eventful life. I'm willing to believe that no fictional events were added, but no doubt some of it was hyped up to make it more interesting as a film. If it was then that is fair enough too.
His pre-fame life in Port Talbot (South Wales, look you) living with his doubting and confrontational father (Colm Meaney) and his sympathetic mother (Julie Walters) is well caught - as is his romantic interest and subsequent marriage. Trouble is, notwithstanding the reality of events depicted, the film piles cliche on cliche, non-stop. One can guess the graph of his progress - but one knows where it's going to end anyway.

I hadn't realised, until I looked it up, that Potts has found a degree of international fame, though for an outsider like me it's nowhere near as high profile as Susan Boyle's. But, unlike the latter,  he is strictly classical. (The standard gamut of well-known tenor arias is run through - nothing unfaniliar).

I've only noticed Corden on film in the marvellous 'The History Boys' (of Alan Bennett, 2007), but I see he has had small roles in quite a number of films of recent years - and will be part of the cast in the much anticipated screen version of Sondheim's 'Into the Woods'. He's been a regular face on British TV for a number of years and is now particularly well known for his highly-praised starring role on stage in 'One Man Two Guvnors' in both the West End and on Broadway.

I'd also mention in the cast of this film Alexandra Roach as Potts' down-to-earth love interest, and Mackenzie Crook as his hyperactive and scene-stealing best pal.

I enjoyed this film rather more than I expected, but it's all very light, easily disposable viewing. Worth a watch but nothing to shout loudly about....................................6.


(Coming soon: 'Philomena')

8 comments:

  1. this one just doesn't grab me.

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    1. Neither did it me, Sol. I came close to not bothering, and it was only because it was so long since my last post that I went. However, I don't regret having made the effort.

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  2. Mr crook is perhaps the most unattractive man I have ever seen

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    1. He does seem to specialise in unsavoury characters where I suppose his 'unusual' looks can be exploited. But he is rather good in this - a role which is not so unsavoury as, say, in the 'Pirates' films.

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  3. Although this film may be loaded with clich├ęs, I'll see it because I had such a marvelous time with Cordon in his B'way appearance in "One Man - -". Loved him also in "Gavin and Stacey" and "The History Boys" which I'm happy to learn you appreciate as much as I do.

    Also, contrary to someone elses opinion, I find Mackenzie Crook kinda sexy.

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    1. Paul, I've actually never seen any episode of 'Gavin & Stacey', though being aware of it, of course. But I really do envy you having seen 'One Man' - it's one of those pieces which I would definitely have seen had I the wherewithal to go to the theatre as I once did.
      'The History Boys' (again, I only saw it on film, alas) was very much an ensemble piece, but in this present film Corden is given his lead which he takes on with relish.
      I've always got in my mind the public berating he got from Patrick Stewart at an awards ceremony 2 or 3 years ago for having such a careless and disrespectful attitude and stance when presenting an award, though Stewart did rather cut away his own ground by referring to Corden's wide girth. But.at that time I was mentally cheering Stewart on for his criticism of Corden for the latter's apparent attitude, which I thought was justified.

      I'm with you on Crook, but only up to a point. If he had a bit more flesh on him he might turn more heads.

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  4. I've miss your posts: I see these movies through you !

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    1. Thanks for that, Dr Spo. I take it you won't be going out of your way to catch this one then. Okay by me.

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