The Look of Love

"Very Good"

The Look of Love Review


Michael Winterbottom vividly recreates swinging 1960s London in this biopic about one of Soho's most notorious figures. It's a lively and attention-grabbing film, but the cast and filmmakers never create a character we can identify with or care about, which leaves the film feeling a bit meaningless. And even if we're interested in the history, we are never able to feel the emotions.

As he did for Winterbottom in 24 Hour Party People, Steve Coogan plays a colourful real-life figure, this time Paul Raymond, also known as the King of Soho. Raymond made his fortune through strip clubs and lap-dancing venues, then expanded into publishing men's magazines before purchasing large swathes of property in London's artiest district. But his marriage to Jean (Friel) was strained by his rampant womanising, including a long-term relationship with actress-model Fiona Richmond (Egerton). And the main woman in Paul's life was his daughter Debbie (Poots), who was in line to inherit his fortune when she died of a heroin overdose in 1992.

The film is framed with Debbie's funeral, showing Raymond at his lowest point. But then, even when he was living the high life, his self-obsession casts a heavy shadow. Everyone in this story is just as lost in their own addictions. And it's sad to see Raymond himself never able to move on from his own early years, amassing a £1 billion fortune, which he left to Debbie's children when he died in 2008. Coogan bravely never tries to get us to sympathise with Raymond, delivering a focussed performance that's darkly bittersweet. Poots adeptly captures Debbie's inability to see her own talents as she falls into a whirlwind of drug abuse. And Friel and Egerton get the most engaging roles as woman thrown aside along the way.

Winterbottom keeps the film moving quickly, cleverly recreating the groovy 60s and 70s in the actual Soho locations and packing scenes with entertaining cameos that add to the film's deranged texture. But he's so intent on portraying Raymond's misogynistic approach to life that he himself manages to treat women like meat. With so much female nudity on display, the film is extremely leery. But we never feel like voyeurs: we start to think that Winterbottom himself might have enjoyed Raymond's shows rather too much.

Rich Cline



The Look of Love

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 7th July 2013

Box Office USA: $14.6k

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: Revolution Films, Baby Cow Films, Film Four International

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 32

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Paul Raymond, as Jean Raymond, as Debbie Raymond, as Fiona Richmond, as Divine, as Vicar, as Carl Snitcher, as Anna, as Rusty Humphries

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.