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Brassed Off [DVD]
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North Yorkshire, 1992. A local colliery band, led by Danny (Pete Postlethwaite), prepare for a national competition, despite the fact that they are faced with redundancy if their pit closes. Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald), the daughter of a former band leader, returns to the band and raises their spirits, beginning a relationship with one of their younger members (Ewan McGregor).
Take The Full Monty, add a sharper emotional edge and replace the strutting strippers with a dignified British band. That's the essence of Brassed Off, a bittersweet gem released in 1996, a year before its more popular (and Oscar-nominated) counterpart. In the Yorkshire town of Grimley, there has always been a coal mine, just as for the last 111 years there has been a brass band and it seems that Danny (the wondrous Pete Postlethwaite) has been the director for every one of those years. Tory economic policies, however, are closing coal mines around the country in favour of nuclear power and Grimley appears to be next on the list. Danny is unfazed by the threat, claiming, "It's music that matters." But some of the men are about to quit the band until the appearance of Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald at her most radiant), who dazzles the all-male group (including old flame Andy, played by Ewan McGregor) first with her beauty, then with her flügelhorn playing. The new member gives the band a boost as they continue to perform and compete but closure remains very real, as director Mark Herman (Little Voice) accompanies the band's performances (played with gusto by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band) with scenes of angry labour-management confrontations and family strife. In this context, some of the characters claim that the music is an irresponsible form of escapism. It becomes clear, however, from a touching performance of "Danny Boy" to the stirring conclusion at Royal Albert Hall, that music is an expression of the human spirit, a bit of beauty and sanity in a harsh world. With defiance, the band can play "Land of Hope andGlory" even when the land offers them neither. --David Horiuchi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I was never much of fan of brass bands - until I watched this film. The acting is superb, the script spot on but the music lifts the film into another dimension.
Set in the fictional mining town of Grimley in North Yorkshire ten years after the calamitous miner's strike of '84 to '85 - "Brassed Off" is about a colliery band with a 100-year history facing dissolution should their coal pit be closed by a determined powers-that-be (the Tory party bent on destroying the Trade Unions). It's a small British movie about big British things and when it was released into cinemas in 1996 - it delivered its laughter and tears with a passion that disarmed many at the time.
In fact - re-watching it now on this superlatively clean and crisply rendered 2012 transfer to BLU RAY (the absolute best its ever looked) - I'm once again struck by its huge heart and the great performances from a committed cast - and that mass job losses devastating a community - is still painfully relevant to this day.
Written and Directed by MARK HERMAN (who went on to do the equally good "Little Voice", "Purely Belter" and "The Boy In Stripped Pyjamas") - this is a working-class world where housewives have a filter cigarette and a cup of tea on the garden wall while their frayed padded-bras flutter on the clothesline in the morning breeze. People shop in Spar and Kwik Save and say "daft" and "bugger" all the time. Life is a struggle and money always a problem - and if the pit closes then there will literally be 'no future' for hundreds of men and women with families to support...
A lot of the movie's seething underbelly of anger and frustration is offset by self-deprecating jokes...Read more ›
If you miss buying this, you will miss out on one of the best DVDs on Amazon. If there was a place for 100 stars I would be pushing the button. Excellent is not enough.
Of course, Pete Postlethwaite is, as ever, totally brilliant, the other members of the cast superb and the music, the music is just absolutely glorious. What more can you ask than to be entertained, educated an uplifted. Entertainment does not get any better than this!
Pete Postlethwaite (Jurassic Park III, Dragonheart, The Usual Suspects, etc.) is the most versatile British actor of these days.
With a rough, tough face, which cannot be confounded with anybody else's, he manages to work splendidly through his eyes.
Yes, the man has some splendid and highly expressive eyes.
They say more than words.
The rest of the cast does not need to be introduced. They all work as masters of their trade and in unison, just like the Band they are supposed to represent.
But just to render justice to them I feel compelled to name them: Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor (the ever famous Wolverine in X-Men) and Steven Tompkinson (whose scenes of despair are truly shattering and moving).
They all are genuine actors and when they play, it comes through as natural as it should be.
The director Mark Herman, has knit one of the finest, most touching and memorable fabrics in movie making in ages.
This may be just a movie, but what a movie it is!
Compared to the usual trash we get usually dished up, this is by far the representation of how a movie ought to be done.
Great and powerful story, great and talented actors, magnificent and gritty photography, a musical score that does not invade your ears while people talk, a flowing pace that never leaves you asking for a cut.
Cuts come when they're needed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great film. No special effects, just a good story how working class communities used to be. Brought back memories. GOOD STUFF!Published 17 days ago by Steve Jenkins
A lovely, lovely film of real England with its struggling miners and that era.Published 1 month ago by Jo