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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The view from [...]
Steve Coogan stars as Paul Raymond, who in the 1970's and early 80's built up a porn industry, sorry, adult entertainment empire, that saw he become the richest man in Britain.

Coogan is inspired casting as Raymond, part Alan Partridge ("I'm friends with all The Beatles...except Yoko Ono!") whilst looking like his comic creation from the 90's Tony Ferrino. He...
Published 17 months ago by Rob Williams

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MIssed opportunity
THE LOOK OF LOVE once again reunites director Michael Winterbottom with Steve Coogan after 3 previously excellent outings(24 Hr Party People,A Cock And Bull Story and The Trip).This time,with a true story tale of Soho legend Paul Raymond,theyre slightly less succesful.Coogan is decent if a bit Partridgey in places,and the film does great work in capturing the look and...
Published 14 months ago by Iain Laurie


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MIssed opportunity, 3 Dec. 2013
By 
Iain Laurie (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
THE LOOK OF LOVE once again reunites director Michael Winterbottom with Steve Coogan after 3 previously excellent outings(24 Hr Party People,A Cock And Bull Story and The Trip).This time,with a true story tale of Soho legend Paul Raymond,theyre slightly less succesful.Coogan is decent if a bit Partridgey in places,and the film does great work in capturing the look and mood of the eras it passes through.But its a curiously flat and unengaging piece,lacking any insight into the world and characters it shows.A real shame as with a slightly less distant and disinterested viewpoint it could have been a cool look at an interesting time and place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is In Your House, 29 Aug. 2014
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Some of the weirdest and sleaziest places in London can be found in Soho, but because it is London, even these places are worth more than the average Northern Town. The bloke that owned many properties in this area was Paul Raymond. As well as dabbling in property, he also dabbled in human flesh as he launched several adult magazines over the years. `Look of Love' stars Steve Coogan as Raymond; it charts his rise and shows that even the richest people in the world are not always happy.

Director Michael Winterbottom has had an interesting and varied career and although some of his films are not to all tastes, they are inevitably interesting. In some ways `Look of Love' is one of his most straight and uninteresting films to date. It may be about adult funnery and drug taking, but this is centrally a rather straight biopic about someone with a slightly unusual life. It is not helped that some twenty years on, the debauchery we see done by Raymond is no longer shocking or abnormal for some of the city's jet set.

What the film does have going for it is good performances. Coogan continues to evolve as an actor becoming more character than caricature in every role. The stand out roles are left for the supporting females; Anna Friel as the put upon wife, Tamsen Egerton as the lover and Imogen Poots as the daughter. They provide the heart that Raymond is not able to bring to the film and give it a reason to have a start, middle and end.

`Look of Love' is not a bad film, but a perfectly passable look at 70s/80s Soho. It is rude in places, but this is in keeping with the subject matter. I would have expected something a little sharper and controversial from Winterbottom, but this is still a decent film.

Winterbottom as a somewhat low-tech feel to his direction and for this reason the film does not really need to be seen in HD to work. The extras on the disc are ok with interviews with a lot of the cast giving an insight into their roles.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The view from [...], 2 Sept. 2013
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Steve Coogan stars as Paul Raymond, who in the 1970's and early 80's built up a porn industry, sorry, adult entertainment empire, that saw he become the richest man in Britain.

Coogan is inspired casting as Raymond, part Alan Partridge ("I'm friends with all The Beatles...except Yoko Ono!") whilst looking like his comic creation from the 90's Tony Ferrino. He is ably backed by a fine British cast, Anna Friel as his long suffering Wife Jean, Chris Addison as his business associate Tony Power (sporting a magnificent 70's hairdo and beard, think Eric Bloom of 70's rockers BOC) with some amusing cameos from amongst other David Walliams as a dodgy Vicar (what else) and Matt Lucas as a butch WW2 female Prison Guard (what else!)

Director Michael Winterbottom superbly recreates 1970's Britain and Raymond's seedy clubs and shows (like something Mel Brooks might parody) and backed by a fine soundtrack (including Cilla Black!) this is a fine return to form after his rather flat previous effort "The Trip" (loved the TV show, movie was a damp squib)
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seedy fun, 9 Sept. 2013
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Very enjoyable look at life before nudity and porn was only a click away. I loved Coogan's performance as Paul Raymond and found it really convincing - (a role he's always wanted to play according to the Blu-ray interviews.) Imogen Poots is outstanding as Debbie, the favourite daughter of Raymond - combining a degree of vulnerability and insecurity with a touching devotion to her 'Pa.' Favourite scene is where she drags her depressed dad out of bed for some serious 'dad dancing' in the heart of their beloved Soho. A good soundtrack, if a little predictable. Strong supporting roles from Anna Friel and Tamsin Egerton, plus a sense of witty but natural improvisation around many of the key scenes, makes for a sentimental wander through central London.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a little longer, 4 May 2014
By 
Miss Bernadette J. Griffin (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Look of Love (Amazon Instant Video)
Gave this a watch out of curiosity. Not a particular Steve Coogan fan but the era it was set in interested me. My first thought is it could have been a bit longer and focused a little more on Raymond's difficult or non existent in one case, with his sons. I know he was the king of porn so to speak but there was just a little too much tits/bums/fannies etc it just made it into a farce eventually and Chris Addison was dire, which is a shame as I found his magazine/newspaper columns and other work amusing and witty. Not a strong supporting cast either for me. I didn't hate it but I wouldn't recommend it either.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but Coogan IS Alan Partridge, 21 Aug. 2013
I really enjoyed this, but I found it was the cast surrounding Steve Coogan I enjoyed more than the man himself. At times, Paul Raymond slipped into Tony Wilson (24 Hour Party People), and at times both men have slipped into Partridge (oo-er). I find Coogan cannot portray emotion very well and is at his best when he is being condescending and irritating.

But on saying that, The Look of Love is a good piece of social history, even if at times the female nudity does get a little too much to bear (I'm sure that would be different for male viewers). Imogen Poots probably gives the standout performance as Raymond's spoilt, but emotionally confused daughter Debbie, who ends up a drug addict. In contrast, is a rather sad scene where Raymond's illegitimate first son, Derry joins him for dinner and is promptly dismissed afterwards.

I feel the film had a bit of an identity crisis, not knowing if it was a comedy or a drama. If it was a comedy, Coogan was a good choice. If it was drama, I think they could have cast someone with a bit more range. But on saying that, it held my attention and I was curious on googling `Fiona Richmond' to find that Tamsin Egerton, who plays her, is actually better looking, despite Richmond being a major sex symbol of the time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arthur not Martha, let alone Glen or Glenda, 5 Mar. 2014
There was a bizarre meta-moment during the screening of Michael Winterbottom’s biopic of Soho impresario Paul Raymond when the audience, at a little preview screening theatre in heart of Soho, realised we were sitting in the exact room that was appearing on the screen in front of us – a scene taking place in a Soho screening room and clearly shot on location.

It isn’t clear who did think it was a good idea to title this film “The Look of Love” but they were mistaken, not least because there is a Robin Williams/Ed Harris vehicle of the same name scheduled for release later this year. In any case, however you do choose to look at this film – a question of some perplexity as I will explain – it isn’t a romantic comedy, and making it sound like one runs the risk of nixing its chances at the box office.

And the picture’s misnaming is symptomatic of a bigger problem with the film in general: it’s an Arthur masquerading as a Martha. By its plot trajectory, The Look of Love ought to be a tragedy, but the characters of neither Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan, playing a role with parallels to his own life’s experience) nor his beloved daughter Deborah (Imogen Poots) are invested with the right qualities to make a tragedy work.

Tragic characters are possessed of a delicate balance of emotionally-investable virtue and repellant human flaw. This precipitates in them a righteous internal struggle which, in the end, the virtuous side must lose. Tragedies are all about this internal struggle been light and dark. They are not, principally, about the background facts against which this struggle plays out. The Look of Love fixes its gaze insistently on the background facts. Paul Raymond presents as a roguish northern huckster. He has seized a large financial opportunity by riding the edge of a prurient society’s mores. These mores, perhaps in part thanks to Raymond’s own endeavours, are not ones with which an enlightened 21st century audience is likely to have much sympathy. Raymond is also charming with it, and as you’d expect, not above enjoying the manifold fruits of his enterprise. Indeed, his wife (Anna Friel) seems to expect it too, and Raymond takes no steps to conceal it from her, which in its way, is rather decent behaviour. He is more variable in his devotion to his children: Raymond ignores his two sons and dotes extravagantly on his daughter Deborah. He’s no angel, but in sum, these are hardly Shakespearian flaws. Nor, in Deborah’s case, is being spoilt, or possessing a marginal singing voice.

Nevertheless, due to an unwise screenwriting decision, we are primed from the outset to expect an unhappy outcome as between father and daughter, and so it turns out. But because genuinely tragic flaws are thin on the ground; because there is no such internal struggle, what might have been a tragedy really plays just as a downer.

So, to brighten the mood, the assembled cast (including as it does a surfeit of Noted British Comedians) works the screenplay hard as a comedy. This works fitfully, but never wholeheartedly. A lustier swing for laughs, with a more abrupt tragic turn, might have made the pathos bite the way it did in, say, Four Weddings and a Funeral.

In the meantime, to keep the gentlemen entertained there are a lot of boobs, great and small, on display. Lots and lots and lots. About this no red-blooded chap can, with a straight face, complain – especially not at the sight of Tamsin Egerton’s willowy frame splashing around like a wet otter in a glass-walled tank of water. It might just be attention to detail from the fastidious production design department, which has surely been at pains to attain period authenticity in all other respects, but it did feel a little gratuitous, yet without being (Ms Egerton’s aquatics notwithstanding) especially titillating.

This sounds too much like I disliked the film, and I didn’t. I enjoyed it. The Look of Love is a handsome, well directed, well-acted picture, boasting marvellous production design, lovely cinematography and boasting an impressive ensemble performance (and a huge cast) but, if one compares it with its spiritual forebear, The People vs. Larry Flint, it did feel a little lacking in pure dramatic spark.

Olly Buxton
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I have never begged for anything in my life!", 26 Oct. 2013
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This line spoken by Paul Raymond (by the pretty close to twin character of Steve Coogan) as he leaves his long suffering but hard edged wife (the excellent Anna Friel) for his new love (Tasmin Egerton playing not too well the memorable Fiona Richmond) sums up the essence of the Paul Raymond character as portrayed in this pretty close to the facts bio pic.

Overall, the film focuses extensively on the sex, drugs and family failings in portraying the life story of a failed mind reading variety artist from a poor family who became one of the richest men in England before his death. As a romp through the history of Soho from the late 1950s to early 1990s when his daughter (portrayed well by Imogen Poots) dies of a drug overdose after copying her father's hedonistic lifestyle, this film is a pretty good visual history and captures how Raymond successfully exploited the openings at each stage to come out as the real King of Soho. It also tracks his personal life which most would judge to be tragic and a failure (certainly the Director Michael Winterbottom is very clear on this story arc per the Interview included) but in reality simply reflected the hard edge such a rags to riches entrepreneur needed to achieve the success he did, given the areas he exploited.

Where the film fails for me is the over emphasis on the sex and glamour aspects. As a result it fails to spend any time showing how Raymond was formed by his early life (hardly touched on in the film apart from a one off meeting with his first illegitimate son) and from the experiences of surviving in Soho in the early '60s, learned the opportunities in real estate investment that the area offered when nobody else was thinking long term.

If after seeing the movie you are seeking further information on Raymond, then the biography by David Willetts re-issued to tie in with the film's release (and which the film only indirectly acknowledges in the end credits) is a much fuller and well researched story. It also fills in lots of details on the key personalities which the film in emphasizing the central Raymond character skips over, most notably his daughter's manipulation of her father against her family.

A pleasant enough movie, well up to Coogan's and Winterbottom's prior efforts but sadly missing out on the deeper shades of complexity the lead character possessed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Welome to my World of Erotica!", 20 Oct. 2013
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This semi comedic film sets about telling the story of one of the most colourful characters of the last century, well in England anyway. That was Paul Raymond, played by the nearly always, brilliant Steve Coogan. We start with the untimely death of his much loved daughter. He then reflects back on his life.

This is done by the film going back to the beginning of his sex empire and reverts to black and white which was a a good way to age the footage and we see how his philandering ways cost him his first marriage. We have him being a theatre impresario and the `art' of ladies with scant clothes on being his stock in trade. Raymond seems to like quoting Oscar Wilde which is also a nice touch. Whilst this is a comedy it is the script and the one liners that do most of the laughs. The actual on screen action is as much drama as anything else.

There is a host of supporting stars too with Chris Addison playing a very beardy `Men's Only' publisher. Anna Friel as Jean Raymond, Matt Lucas as Divine, David Walliams as a pervy vicar and even Stephen Fry putting in a very short appearance as a barrister. Coogan's make up is excellent and he ages really well throughout the 101 minutes of screen time. The soundtrack is great too with the likes of Roxy Music, T-Rex and even Cilla Black all getting an airing. There is a fair deal of mild nudity and a lot of `strong' words which are all in context and not gratuitous - unlike the nude ladies that is.

It has been criticised for lack of character development, but I think that was half the problem in that Raymond did not have to develop and so got round to it too late, also it is quite difficult to do that with such a long cast list. The main question should be is it any good? Well I for one really enjoyed it, the humour was just a part of the whole story the way it is in most real lives. The acting was all great and was camped up in all the right places. The poignant scenes were played with the right amount of pathos too. It was originally to be called `The King of Soho', but Paul Raymond's son Howard threatened legal action as he is working on a project of the same title about his father. All in all a really great film that I would be happy to recommend.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd title, 8 Oct. 2013
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This is a very interesting and well produced biopic based on the life of Paul Raymond who made millions out of introducing nudity to the stage in the UK in a big way. The film, although containing some transient scenes of nudity, does not make a big deal of it and concentrates more on the 'swinging London' way of life of that time, with drugs, sex etc.etc and shows that in the long run it so often lead to tragedy and unhappiness - despite the money!
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The Look of Love
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