Like Francis Ford Coppola's "One from the Heart", "Absolute Beginners" thrives on the artifice of the big Hollywood musicals of the fifties when this film is set, (it's based on Colin MacInnes' cult novel), but director Julien Temple is no Coppola and while this does have several sublime moments there are perhaps just not enough of them, (it's certainly uneven), and the young leads, Eddie O'Connell and Patsy Kensit, are terrible. However, on the plus side, the sheer artificiality works for, rather than against, the picture, there are a couple of good supporting turns, (James Fox, David Bowie, a surprisingly good Ray Davies), and it has a terrific score by Gil Evans. It also has a tendency to resemble a series of great music videos with big chunks of clunking narrative in-between. The 'Keep Britain White' ending, however well-intentioned, is an uneasy mix of seriousness, 'West Side Story' choreography and Walpurgisnacht. It was never going to be a hit but, like the novel, it has definitely built up a cult reputation.
A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. Meanwhile, racial tension is brewing in Colin's Notting Hill housing estate...
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August 16, 2015 at 10:18 AM