Hunky Dory (2011) torrent download

Hunky Dory

2011

Action / Comedy / Drama / Music

6.2

Synopsis

In the heat of the summer of 1976, keen drama teacher Vivienne fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end of year music version of Shakespeare's The Tempest. To engage her students, she uses hits of the time, which will be performed by a fresh young cast led by rising star Aneurin Barnard.

Director

Marc Evans

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by smallasianman 6 /10

Minnie Stardust

I usually despise musicals. I cringe at the sight of teenagers wearing pasted-on smiles, belting out show tunes whilst mid-conversation with stern authority figures. Yet Marc Evans' Hunky Dory seeks to counter the contrivance of High School Musical and Glee, instead presenting us with a naturalistic drama that explores the lives of a dreamless bunch of kids in pre-Thatcher South Wales. Despite facing their last summer holiday before being destined for mediocrity, free-spirited drama teacher Vivienne May (Minnie Driver) wants her class to put on an end of year production of The Tempest "that William Shakespeare and David Bowie would be proud of" in order to give them some lasting hope of achievement.

The film follows the cast as they seek to produce a "Shakespearean concept rock opera", despite disapproval from conservative teachers, prejudiced rugby coaches and skinhead relatives. The youngsters' talents shine through, with the 1976 backdrop meaning ensemble performances of the likes of David Bowie, Nick Drake, ELO and The Beach Boys. There is a strong feel-good vibe to Hunky Dory, which dances between comedic musical and nostalgic drama with some success. Several character arcs map the cast's progression through the stereotypical hurdles of adolescent strife – but all's well by opening night, when the class perform relatively unscathed.

However, there is a great failing in Hunky Dory due to its poverty of originality. The setting and story borrow heavily from Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused and School of Rock, whilst the students' individual stories aren't given time to develop, and so seem to be pulled straight from Skins and Cemetery Junction. Perhaps Marc Evans bit off more than he could chew here. I imagine that Hunky Dory would play out quite well as a TV mini-series, and perhaps the predictable plot and two-dimensional characters may simply be a result of it being confined to 110 minutes. Nonetheless, the film is an easy watch, especially the final rendition of Life On Mars?, which is performed impeccably. Expect some warm chuckles in the hazy Welsh sunshine, but not riotous laughs. Hunky Dory won't ever have you on the edge of your seat, but its pleasant enough to keep you in it.

Reviewed by Greigx3 7 /10

don't let the critics put you off

People have complained that this film is too formulaic, it's too glossy and sugar-coated and that it's so steeped in saccharine sentimentality that it will make the overpriced, syrupy Coke that you bought from the multiplex foyer seem sour and flat.

While there is definitely truth in the above statement, I think enjoyment of this (and any) film depends on your attitude. If you go into this film expecting to see some gritty socio-political drama focussing on the oppression of Welsh mining classes, you will be sorely disappointed. You will come out complaining about how populist it is, how it's so conventionally structured and emotionally sensationalist etc, etc.

The poster is a lovely snapshot of a group of idyllic young friends having fun in the blistering summer of 1976. It's all orange and glowing. The trailer gives a taste of how packed the film is with poppy love songs of the era, how predictable the premise makes the plot, how familiar the angsty teenage characters are, how petty the conflicts seem in this hazy summer utopia of a bygone Britain and how indulgently reminiscent it is.

It's called Hunky Dory.

The signs are there - everything about the design screams out feel-good mainstream movie. It is unashamedly populist, unashamedly sensational and is obviously going to be as conventional as any piece of popular cinema. There's nothing subtle about the way the film advertises this sense of style.

To know all this, watch the film then criticize it for the glaringly obvious is lazy criticism, at best. Don't go and see the film if you know you're going to suffer an adverse reaction to the sheer amount of light-heartedness going on. That's like going into a screening of Shrek with your arms folded for the entire movie then coming out in a huff saying to your bemused/horrified children "the guy's an ogre but not once did I see a man's skin being peeled off while he was still alive."

For those more willing to accept this film for what it so blatantly is, I'd say it's an easy, feel-good film with and great 70's soundtrack (from the likes of Bowie and ELO) and superb Welsh accents throughout. A coming-of-age film set in a specific place and moment in British history, it shares an obvious affinity to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Mechant's Cemetery Junction as well as Billy Elliot (a couple of the producers made this film too).

There are a lot of characters so the attempt to squeeze in all of their individual stories is overly ambitious, but the cast are great. Minnie Driver is easily lovable and I get the feeling you'll be seeing a lot more of Aneurin Barnard's face in the future. The ending is a little bit vague and they try and remedy this by giving a 'where are they now' sequence during the end credits – which is a bit half-baked (no reference to the recreational activities of the time intended).

Overall, a likable film with some nice messages (namely Karl Marx's sentiment "don't let the b*st*rds grind you down") and a well-polished style that makes for easy watching.

http://ionlyaskedwhatyouthought.blogspot.com/

Reviewed by ishtapaz 9 /10

A Realistic Glee Club

I actually do not like Glee. It's just impossible for any high school to achieve that sound. But this one is indeed believable and it involved everyone, the band not just the divas. Of course I am in love with Minnie Driver. What a unique face but man she can sing. I knew she sang and played guitar. She definitely carried the movie but the supporting cast specially the teenage actors.

The drama is definitely thick but again not over the top and again believable.

The music selection is also refreshing. I know this review is not so cerebral but sometime it does not have to be. In terms of filmography. I love the Fuji Velvia look of the 70's.

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