Half a film so half marks....
, 11 Feb 2010
Decent enough British drama if you dont mind getting half a film. You see, during what appears-to-be half way through a scene about ninety-odd minutes in, the credits begin to roll over the actors, even though nothing has been resolved. I honestly think the studio may have run out of money and gone fk it, lets just release it incomplete nobody will probably go see it anyway. It really is that much of a shocker. I even checked to see if the disc was faulty or something. And whilst we're on the subject of shockers, why is the film called 'All the Right Noises'? There's no link between the film's title and what happens in it. Honestly. Anyway, with these minor flaws in mind, and also the fact that the quality of the film, even on the Blu Ray disc, is like a very dodgy VHS copy (couldn't The BFI have at least cleaned the print up?), lets consider what comes first...
Tom Bell plays a thirty-something theatre electrician who embarks on a relationship with the sweet and innocent Olivia Hussey. After a chance-meeting, Bell takes the young damsel to a pub before offering to get her home safely (yeah, that ole chestnut). They even have time to play a little pinball before setting off for the tube. Sadly, Bells character is supposed to be a happily-married family man with a doting wife waiting for him at home. Oh, and then theres the issue of Husseys age. She may look older, but were supposed to believe shes a budding fifteen year old. Sadly, Bell doesnt decide to ask what she does despite the fact that they're clearly talking for hours a schoolboy error if ever there was one - until she shows up the following afternoon in a school uniform and her GCSE coursework folder stuffed under her arm (or something). And, of course, by that time, the relationships got a bit too far advanced and ole' Bell just can't keep his mucky paws off.
The film doesnt ever really go in the direction you might expect, and this can only be seen as a plus. That said, several sub-plots one, most infuriatingly, involving Bells gambling-addict father never get resolved, nor do they ever appear to really contribute much to the film as a whole. That said, All the Right Noises tries to make some attempt to deal with the kitchen-sink style themes that Ken Loach was championing in the 60s and 70, although the picture appears more dated than much of Loach's output.
Other negatives are the regular musical interludes which are almost as irritating as Bells fondness for cravat-wearing. It's all got very dated, although its astonishing to note how so many aspects of early 70s London are exactly the bloomin same today. Oh, and Mildred from 'George and Mildred' shows up in a cameo.
Although rather marvellous in Zefirellis Romeo and Juliet, Olivia Hussey never did much afterwards that was of any significance, despite being one of the most stunning women in the world. Perhaps the best thing Ive seen her in since was, er, the TV Movie Psycho IV: The Beginning playing Norman Batess slightly-eccentric mother. All the Right Noises perhaps kind of explains why; the gorgeous sets and the lush Shakespearian dialogue likely disguised the fact that, well, she really cant act. That said, she isnt really helped by the script, which generally expects her to utter dialogue of a person considerably older. In fact, most the time shes more like a far older woman in a teenagers body and the age difference almost becomes an irrelevance.
Its all sweet and entertaining enough and doesnt treat the audience like complete idiots, and, although I cant fathom why the BFI saw fit to dig it out from whatever archive it was sat it (there's got to be better stuff from the 1970s, surely?), it's all entertaining enough on the proviso that you don't mind getting half a low-budget British movie instead of a whole one.
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