Hunky Dory (3 stars)

Hunky Dory

Musical drama set amid teenage life in 1970s rural Wales

(15) 110min

The turbulent lives of working class teenagers in 1970s Britain have hardly been underrepresented on our cinema screens in recent years, with Cemetery Junction, Soulboy and Neds all recreating the era, each offering varying degrees of grit and golden-hued remembrance.

Director Marc Evans skews to the latter with this funny and gently moving tale of a sun-kissed summer in rural Wales, retreading familiar ground from those films but giving the genre a fresh twist by using period music as much more than just audio set-dressing. Free-spirited drama teacher Vivienne (Minnie Driver) declares the goal to her pupils in the opening scene: “to put on a show that William Shakespeare and David Bowie would be proud of”, and not even the standard third-act twists will stop them.

There’s at least one sub-plot too many, but audiences willing to suspend disbelief will be swept up as the greatest high school band in the history of music perform an impeccable selection of hits from The Beach Boys to ELO in preparation for their musical version of The Tempest.

General release from Fri 2 Mar.

Hunky Dory Trailer "Coming Soon"

Hunky Dory

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 1h 49min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Marc Evans
  • Written by: Laurence Coriat
  • Cast: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Danielle Branch
  • UK release: 2 March 2012

Funny and gently moving tale set in 70s Wales, about a free-spirited drama teacher (Driver) determined to put on a musical version of The Tempest. There's at least one sub-plot too many, but the period music is impeccably played and intelligently used; audiences willing to suspend disbelief will be swept up.

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