Steve Coogan’s latest movie turn as Soho porn king Paul Raymond looks to have gone down cautiously well at the Sundance Film Festival, with early reviews coming out of the annual event giving a mixture of reviews to the British actor and comic.
Coogan portrays Raymond. Born in 1925, he opened the UK’s first strip club and started making his millions off of property trading, being dubbed the King Of Soho as his influence grew. Setting up Paul Raymond Publications, he launched adult magazines including Escort and Mayfair, though he became a recluse after 1992 when his daughter died of an overdose at a stage where he was ready to hand over his business to her.
The film sees Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan rekindle their working relationship that, most famously, birthed 24 Hour Party People, and The Guardian say that once again it’s a successful union. “Coogan does well to steer clear of parody and understands that behind the hedonism lies a man who is always in control” their critic writes. The Independent though feel that Coogan can’t escape his most famous character Alan Partridge: “At various points, it is Alan Partridge getting luckier than he ever dreamed of with the ladies” they critique. They do however point out that the female cast members, such as Anna Friel fare a lot better, the cornerstone of them choosing to give the film three out of five. The film is set for a UK release on March 8, 2013.