Hunky Dory

"Good"

Hunky Dory Review


With a lively recreation of 1970s South Wales, this relatively standard nostalgic teen drama holds our interest through its colourful settings and characters. Although without a clear central figure, the film feels rather diffuse.

Viv (Driver) is an unorthodox drama teacher at a Swansea school, where she encourages her students to express themselves. But this causes problems when Davey (Barnard) keeps getting knocked back by his crush Stella (Branch), Kenny (Evans) hangs out with a band of skinhead thugs, Jake (MacKay) starts seeing this sister (Nixon) of his best pal (Byard), and Evan (Harries) realises he doesn't like girls. As their class production, a rock-infused version of The Tempest, approaches, everyone will need to take a stand. And it could get rather messy.

The film's groovy vibe is engaging even if there isn't really anyone to properly hold our focus. Although there's bound to be one or two characters with whom we can identify, it's kind of like trying to follow the train of thought in a room where everyone is speaking at the same time. But at least the film looks great, with its gently cluttered production design and good-looking cast, plus a lot of cool period music. In some ways, it's like a 1976 episode of Glee, featuring the songs of David Bowie, the Beach Boys and Dusty Springfield.

Along the way, the characters deal with an array of big issues, including emotional immaturity, sexual confusion, teen drinking and smoking, and more.

And of course at the centre is the whole "show must go on" thing, as the production is continually threatened with closure. But despite some very strong performances, the wispy plot simply isn't robust enough to balance all of these elements. So the film never quite breaks the surface, and the emotional drama never moves us.

Perhaps, being essentially a story about theatrical drama queens, there's just too much of people storming out of rooms in a huff. Maybe there are too many villains trying to suppress our heroes' artistic expression. As every single character has to confront some big obstacle, there's bound to be something that will grab our interest and sympathy. But the film is never much more than a pretty show.



Hunky Dory

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd March 2013

Box Office USA: $19.0k

Distributed by: Variance Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Vivienne, as Davey, as Stella, Robert Pugh as Headmaster

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.