Cemetery Junction [DVD] 
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From the award-winning team behind the hit series; “The Office". 70’s England is in full swing as three outcast friends find themselves drinking, joking, fighting and chasing girls, while dreaming of escape from their blue-collar hometown of Cemetery Junction. Freddie (Christian Cooke) is a salesman suddenly thrown onto the fast track when he gains the attention of his boss, Mr. Kendrick (Ralph Fiennes). Torn between a prior life of partying with his friends (Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan) and the promise of a brighter future, life gets more complicated when the bosses daughter becomes the focus of Freddie’s affection. Also starring Ricky Gervais and Emily Watson.
It might be lower key and less overtly comedic than you may be expecting from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, but there are plenty of reasons nonetheless to commend their nostalgic 70s drama Cemetery Junction. Leaving behind the style of comedy the pair fine-tuned to perfection with The Office, Cemetery Junction instead concerns itself with telling the story of three young men.
These men all live in their home town of Cemetery Junction, each working for an insurance company. Joining them there is their boss, played by Ralph Fiennes, with the cast also fleshed out by the likes of Emily Watson, Gervais himself and the terrific Matthew Goode.
But it’s Christian Cooke who catches the eye in what turns out to be the lead role of Freddie. It’s Freddie’s evolving professional and personal life that forms the core of the narrative, and laced with some fine comedic moments, he anchors the film well. It helps that Gervais and Merchant are so focused on how to put across the story, with the dingy style of 70s Britain captured terrifically well.
It’s quite a low key project, perhaps, and it doesn’t tread too much in the way of new ground. But Cemetery Junction is nonetheless fine work, and a quality British movie. It’s well worth seeking out. --Jon Foster
- Commentary with Writers/Directors Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- Cast Commentary with Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, and Jack Doolan
- Deleted Scenes
- The Directors: A Conversation with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- The Lads Look Back: The Stars Discuss Cemetery Junction
Stills from Cemetery Junction (click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
The same mistake can be made with Cemetery Junction, particularly with people touting it as 'the best thing Gervais and Merchant have done since The Office'. It probably is the best thing they have done but that doesn't mean you are going to see David Brent on speed.
Cemetery Junction is a poignant and still appropriate movie set in the 1970's that deal with some very serious issues. To call it a 'coming of age' movie would be an injustice because American Pie also falls into that category.
The official Amazon review says that the three lead characters work for a local insurance company. This is incorrect. Only the lead character of Freddie (Christian Cooke) does. He is ambitious and does not want to end up like his dad (Gervais) working in a factory all his life.
Tom Hughes as Bruce Pearson does work in a factory, as his dad used to. He has a chip on his shoulder and likes getting into fights. Hates where he lives and hates his dad but is too scared to leave.
And Snork... "because I have a nose for...." is the butt of the jokes.
Each lead character is very clearly different and yet endearing in their own way. Ralph Fiennes plays the rags-to-riches Insurance man extremely well and Emily Watson uses the little bit of camera-time to great effect too.
My wife and I found this to be an excellent film. It moves at a very steady pace, it is well shot with a good 70's look to it.Read more ›
You can pick any film to pieces and accuse it of not being 100% true-to-life. However, if you watch the DVD special features, you'll see that this is quite intentional, and that it's meant to be a representation rather than a documentary-type portrayal (though it's still far more true-to-life than most films).
Part of the reason for it being slated is likely that it's being unfairly compared with 'The Office' and 'Extras', and even with Gervais's stand-up comedy. However, it's clearly not meant to be in the same mould, and the humour is altogether more subtle and understated - though still of the same insightful brilliance.
If you're expecting obvious Gervais/Merchant comedy of the type that we all know and love, you might be disappointed. But think instead of a feel-good rock 'n' roll Brit flick with a dark comic edge - some kind of a wonderful cross between 'Starter for 10' and the genius that is 'Withnail and I' - and you won't go far wrong.
The soundtrack is pretty damn good, too, and any film featuring a shot of Karl Pilkington sporting a moustache and big sideburns, and looking more perplexed than he usually does, can't be all bad!
A pleasant dose of nostalgia set in the 1970's this film captures the attitudes and mood of the time. Upon leaving school, the majority of young people were expected to follow their parents into dead end and boring jobs in local factories and offices.This film follows the main character 'Freddie' as he aspires to better himself by becoming a top insurance salesman, whilst trying to maintain his integrity. Eventually Freddie realises his chosen path is no different to that of his friends, at which point he decides to take radical action for the time...
The stand out performance for me was from Tom Hughes, whose character Bruce's troubled relationship with his father is insightful and an example of how poor communication can lead to inaccurate assumptions, opinions and judgement. The scenes between the pair were shot with subdued colour saturation, until the moment when Bruce attempts a reconciliation with his father, at which point the colour saturation slowly increases. Very clever....
I initially recorded this film on my Sky box, but like it so much I purchased the DVD. I must have watched this film at least a dozen times or more, and never get tired of it.
I am at a loss to understand why this film has been criticised so harshly by some people. It was never intended to be "The Office or Extras - The Movie". I grew up during the 1970's and the film is a very accurate representation of the time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Three working class friends, are coming of age. Freddie wants to rise above it all, taking a job selling life insurance, wearing a suit and tie. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Corey Newcombe
We are the same age as the main characters when this was set, and we really enjoyed it.Published 3 months ago by Lacewing
I'm a huge Gervais and Merchant fan, from Extras to the Office, Hello Ladies to the movies such as Ghost Town.. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D Carter