Control (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

Review byMatthew Turner03/10/2007

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 121 mins

Beautifully shot, superbly directed biopic with a great script and a terrific performance from newcomer Sam Riley.

What's it all about?
Directed by acclaimed photographer Anton Corbijn, Control stars newcomer Sam Riley as Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, who committed suicide in 1980 at the age of 23. Based on the book by Ian's wife, Deborah, the film covers the last seven years of Curtis' life, from when he first meets and marries Debbie (Samantha Morton) as a Macclesfield teenager, through the formation of the band and their rise to fame.

The film also details Curtis' struggles with epilepsy and his attempts to juggle his love for two very different women: his wife, Debbie and Belgian strumpet-slash-groupie Annik Honore (Alexandra Maria Lara), who became his sort of on-tour mistress.

The Good
Shot in gorgeous black and white, the film often recalls the kitchen sink dramas of the 1960s. This is a stunning directorial debut by Corbijn and he's the perfect choice as director, particularly as he was closely involved with photographing Curtis and Joy Division in the 1980s.

Riley is sensational as Curtis, beautifully capturing his electric stage presence (the musical performances are terrific) but also his agonising private conflicts. Morton is equally good as Debbie, convincingly portraying the shift from giggling teenager to frustrated grown-up-too-soon housewife.

The Great
The script is superb, particularly in the smaller details, such as Curtis' day job at the Labour Exchange, where he tries to help people with disabilities find work. There's also colourful support from Tony Kebbell as wisecracking manager Rob Gretton (Where's your money? It's in my fuck off pocket.) and Craig Parkinson as Tony Wilson, who does well to step out of the shadow of Steve Coogan's performance as Wilson in 24 Hour Party People.

Worth seeing?
Control is a hugely enjoyable, impressively directed biopic with superb performances, a great script and stunning photography. It goes without saying that the soundtrack's fantastic too. Unmissable.

Film Trailer

Control (15)
Control has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 23/07/2018 02:44

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