out of Five
Running time: 102
Opens London Film Festival: 23rd October
General release: 18th November
Enjoyable, well-acted drama with yet another brilliant performance by Paddy Considine – worth watching, despite a few problems with the script.
Stoned is directed by British producer-turned-director Stephen Woolly. It has its fair share of problems - particularly towards the end - and it's hampered by not having the rights to any actual Stones songs, but for the most part it's a well-acted, engaging drama with the added bonus of having loads of equal-opportunity nudity in it, if you like that sort of thing.
The film is set during the last few months in the life of Rolling Stones founder member Brian Jones (rising British star Leo Gregory). Brian's drug convictions prevent him from joining the Stones on their American tour, so he's holed up in his country mansion (that used to belong to A.A.Milne), drinking, shagging and doing boat-loads of drugs.
His sleazy manager (David Morrissey) hires Frank Thoroughgood (Paddy
Considine) as a live-in builder, partly to work on Brian's house and partly to keep him company.
As time passes, the friendship between the two men gets increasingly strange, until it all comes to an end, when Brian is found dead in his pool.
Paddy Considine is as superb as ever - his character is extremely complex and you're never quite sure which of Frank or Brian is the one with the power in the relationship. Gregory is equally good, though his constant drug-induced haze becomes rather one-note after a while – that said, this is primarily the script's fault.
The real pleasures of the film are in the supporting performances, especially the always excellent David Morrissey. Whishaw is good too, although it’s a shame Luke de Woolfson (as Mick Jagger) didn’t have more to do. Also notable are Amelia Warner (last seen in Quills) and Tuva Novotny (as Brian's girlfriend).
In short, Stoned tells an interesting story and is worth seeing, although it’s not quite as good as it would have been if the Stones had coughed up the music rights.