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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexism, Bad Fashion, Hormones and Glam Rock in 1976 Wales.
This brilliant film from Wales is set in the long hot summer of 1976, when we had it like the Mediterranean every day for months (except in Ireland where it pelted down and I had to go for a `holiday'). We meet Vivienne May (Minnie Driver) who has returned from a failed career in London to become a teacher at a not so progressive South Wales school. She is one of those...
Published 23 months ago by Tommy Dooley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hunky Dory - Glam Glee with a Welsh accent
It's hard to review this film, as the framing scenes are so awkwardly done it was half way through before I really realised what was going on. Essentially it follows the lives of a radical teacher and her nearly adult charges as they try to put on a staging of the Tempest, complete with soundtrack from the era. Set in the late seventies in Wales, the soundtrack is a...
Published 19 months ago by Victor


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexism, Bad Fashion, Hormones and Glam Rock in 1976 Wales., 27 Oct 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
This brilliant film from Wales is set in the long hot summer of 1976, when we had it like the Mediterranean every day for months (except in Ireland where it pelted down and I had to go for a `holiday'). We meet Vivienne May (Minnie Driver) who has returned from a failed career in London to become a teacher at a not so progressive South Wales school. She is one of those teachers who feel you should get more from education than just a tick box mentality to passing exams. And as such she wants to encourage the kids to `express' themselves.

In order to help in this process, she intends to put on the school musical, and she chooses Shakespeare's `The Tempest', but with up to date and `with it' music such as Bowie, Roxy, Music and ELO. I was intrigued straight away especially with a very school like version of `Life on Mars' with a xylophone and jars filled with differing amounts of water - brilliant. Well her efforts are received with mild disfavour to outright hostility. The rugby coach says acting is effeminate and won't let his `boys' take part, the splendid Hayden Gwynn as Mrs Valentine, is a sublime cow in her efforts to undermine Vivienne, who seems to let herself down through being caught at being pally with the kids, smoking, drinking, swearing and getting stoned.

The kids themselves are all played brilliantly especially the lad who plays the only gay in the village/ school. Then there is Davy who has a crush for Miss and more mixed hormones than most of his age, but he can fair belt out a tune. The arrangements and treatments of the songs are all at the high end of excellent especially a fairly obscure Roxy number. They are also rubbish at turning up for dress rehearsal and more akin to bunking off down the Lido than learning their lines. Well as the heat rises, so do the hormones, jealousies and the accusations which will all lead to an inevitable clash, albeit with a load of laughs along the way.

To say I enjoyed this is an understatement akin to saying Stalin might have been a bit naughty, it is just great, funny, human, and entertaining and it's Welsh. This is the best Welsh film since `Twin Town' and I have seen a fair few. Minnie Driver is not only great she is totally lovable and not any of the supporting cast puts in a bad performance. Special mention to the headmaster played by Robert Pugh (`Master and Commander' and `Robin Hood'), he plays the bumbling but kind hearted teacher in a virtuoso performance of under statedness. If you loved the seventies, you will love this, if you love musicals then look no further and if you want to see some home grown life affirming cinema then, with this you have struck gold.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glee meets Swansea., 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a bit like a Welsh version of Glee or maybe even Grease, but a bit cooler, a bit less polished & a bit more, well, British. It's 1976 & drama teacher Viv is staging a modern version of The Tempest complete with a soundtrack of the time. Think Bowie, ELO, 10cc, which is sung by the cast, who aren't professional singers but all give it a good go. The 1970s styling is great & gives the film a great nostalgic feel. I felt the "what they did next" scene at the end was a brilliant touch & made me connect with the characters a bit more. It made them feel like real classmates & gave the characters a bit more depth.
It's a feel-good film & I really enjoyed watching it. If only the drama lessons at my school had been half this fun.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best British films for a few years., 15 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke "Graham BC" (Rayleigh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
This is worth watching just for Minnie Driver's performance. She is fantastic as a Welsh school teacher trying to get her class interested in Shakespeare by using modern pop music of the seventies. The film is based on a school in the Welsh valleys in the mid-1970's. It has many sub-plots and each story works well together to build the bigger picture.

The music is remarkable - i.e. it isn't the original singers but the class singing and they sound fantastic.

I may be biased as this is around the date I left school I I loved the cool music from ELO, David Bowie et al.

This isn;t Grange Hill or Waterloo Road, though it is more in the Waterloo Road mode. Its engaging and a great story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but no " Glee ", 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
Well, I really bought it just to see Aneurin Barnard, but it IS an enjoyable film. The songs are really well done, and the acting performances are good, and the storyline is okay, and very believable. It's not as dramatic as " Glee " but it's set in Wales, and seems to me to be a good reflection of the time it represents. Aneurin Barnard is SO good as always - he is a GREAT talent, and worth the price of this dvd alone, several times over !.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
This was a lovely feel good film, and great to hear some of the music from when I was a child. Funny, nostalgic and a little sad in places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
This film is absolutely brilliant.
Would recommend to anyone.
Singing brilliant, couldn't ask
for more, very dishy male
makes it even better to view
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hunky Dory - Glam Glee with a Welsh accent, 6 Feb 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
It's hard to review this film, as the framing scenes are so awkwardly done it was half way through before I really realised what was going on. Essentially it follows the lives of a radical teacher and her nearly adult charges as they try to put on a staging of the Tempest, complete with soundtrack from the era. Set in the late seventies in Wales, the soundtrack is a decent mix of music form the era. The film follows them as they deal not only with the tribulations of putting on the play, but the problems of growing up and entering into adult life.

It's really quite dull, with not a lot to hold the interest. The basic story has been done before, and done better. The setting of time and place adds nothing really new to it. It is lazily directed in such a way as to leave the audience confused for the first half and bored for the second half of the film.

There are high points. Haydn Gwynne's very proper school marm descending into apoplectic rage was a great moment. But for the mkost part it's an unengaging film that did little for me. And I grew up not far from the area depicted in that era, so if it doesn't strike a chord with me I hold out little hope for others even further distant from the time, place and characters.

2 stars. Not quite bad enough to be unwatchable, but certainly not a film that I could recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best &)'s movie, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
This movie was brilliant looking at the summer of 76 through the eyes of year 10/11 pupils. Its gritty, witty and captures the m.ood of the times.The music is excellent and the raw talent of the young stars is refreshing...mini driver is a good humanities tutor and captures the topic very well
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good film of the year, 27 July 2012
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This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
One of the best British films of the last few years, beautifully filmed and acted. An age of innocence we appear to have lost.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reminds you of that so wonderful long hot summer ...., 6 July 2014
This review is from: Hunky Dory [DVD] (DVD)
I LOVED this film! Perhaps because it reminded me of my youth and THAT long hot summer! I think I would have enjoyed it anyway though. Minnie Driver is really good in this and Aneurin Barnard is excellent - along with a lot of other wonderful actors. The music is great as well. I have watched it again and again - enjoy!
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Hunky Dory [DVD]
Hunky Dory [DVD] by Marc Evans (DVD - 2012)
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