I must be in a bit of a music biography mood, but why not when there are a couple of cracking examples of the genre currently on the DVD rental market? This one concerns the life and times of the late Ian Dury, a boy crippled by polio in his early years who forged a career as a new wave poet and musician, but had a difficult family life and strained relationship with his eldest son, Baxter.
The central performance by Andy Serkis was a masterpiece; he managed to attain all of Dury's mannerisms, speech patterns and movement to a tee, which was no mean feat. The young actor playing his son Baxter (Bill Milner) was impressive, although he didn't seem to age much during the film, which was a little odd? The other central roles of Dury's first wife Betty (Olivia Williams) and his partner Denise (Naomie Harris) were also truly believable. The narrative form jumps around a bit and uses Dury's music hall inspired performances to show some of his backstory, especially the time when he was sent to an institution for the disabled and others of his distant, but loving father Bill (Ray Winstone),
Probably the best thing about this film, as well as the music, is the fact that the screenwriter and director didn't shy away from showing Dury's volatile and often violent nature, which is a fact often missing from more sycophantic films. In conclusion, myself and my husband really enjoyed this film and it's a must see for any music fan.