Biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Directed by photographer Anton Corbijn, who took some of Joy Division's most iconic pictures, this film is inspired by the book 'Touching From A Distance' written by Curtis' widow, Deborah, who is played here by Samantha Morton. It tells the story of how Curtis (Sam Riley), married to Deborah at a young age, becomes distracted from his marriage by the growing success of his band and his burgeoning attraction towards Belgian journalist, Annik Honore. His battle with epilepsy adds to his feelings of despair until he eventually takes his own life on the eve of Joy Division's first American tour. Filmed in black and white, the film captures the time and the place with cool precision.
Musicians have long proven to be a well of inspiration for film makers, and so it proves again with director Anton Corbjns telling of the story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division, Control
Based on the book of the same name, the first of Controls many successes is to make prior knowledge of the subject matter unnecessary. And while music is an important part of the film, the movie ultimately focuses in on the relationship between Curtis and his wife, Deborah. Its a moving and emotional rollercoaster, and one realised with exceptional skill and grace by Sam Riley and the ever-astonishing Samantha Morton in the lead acting roles. The former is someone very much to watch, the latter is surely long overdue an Oscar.
Credit too must go to director Corbjn, though, who builds up Control with diligence and discipline. He shapes a musical biopic that distinguishes itself from its numerous contemporaries, and while it perhaps doesnt spend enough time with the Joy Division side of the story, its a film thats otherwise hard to fault.
Control, ultimately, not only managed to sidestep many of the contrivances of the genre, but it also offers a raw, electric and emotional experience, and proved to be one of 2007s finest films. Dont miss it. --Jon Foster