England is Mine

 

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A dramatization of Morrissey’s early years in Manchester is a little too laid-back for its own good. 

   
England is Mine
Jack Lowden with Jessica Brown Findlay

 

Man of the moment Jack Lowden, fresh from Tommy’s Honour and Dunkirk, plays Steven Morrissey, an introverted teenager in 1970’s Manchester. He is frustrated with his dull job at the tax office and uninspired existence – his only escape is at the city’s underground gig scene where he meets Linder Sterling (Jessica Brown Findlay), a free spirited artist who inspires him to chase his dreams and turn them into reality...

 

It is a fascinating film about the early years of Morrissey before he became the iconic lyricist and lead singer of The Smiths. Lowden captures perfectly Morrissey’s isolation and frustration under Mark Gill’s laid back direction. It is in fact so laid back that it occasionally needs a kick up its arse to get moving. The period details work well until the thoroughly modern-day Jessica Brown Findlay makes her grand entrance, but soon after her character moves to London and disappears from the action. It is a likeable enough film but ultimately lacks fireworks and passion and is probably better suited for television.

 

GEORGE SAVVIDES

 

Cast: Jack Lowden, Jessica Brown Findlay, Laurie Kynaston, Adam Lawrence, Jodie Comer, Katherine Pearce, Peter McDonald, Simone Kirby.

 

Dir Mark Gill, Pro Baldwin Li and Orian Williams, Screenplay Mark Gill and William Thacker, Ph Nicholas D. Knowland, Pro Des Helen Watson, Ed Adam Biskupski, Costumes Yvonne Duckett and Oliver Garcia.

 

Honlodge Productions-Entertainment One.

94 mins. UK. 2017. Rel: 4 August 2017. Cert. 15.