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Control

August 25, 2010

Control (2007)
Director: Anton Corbijn
Actors: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Toby Kebbell

1379317555control.jpg (277×183)

Synopsis: The life and death of Joy Division frontman, Ian Curtis (Sam Riley).

Review: This may sound condescending, though it’s intended as a compliment, but Control is little more than a commendable and tastefully-rendered film narrative. Barring the closing moments, where director Anton Corbijn is understandably battling the temptation of plot exposition and demonstration of the story’s central theme (as per the film’s title), Control is an exercise in how to make an unhysterical and classy biopic. Everything is subordinate to the verisimilitude of characterisation, period and location. The casting directors, as well as the performers themselves, deserve credit for one of the best-acted films I’ve ever seen. Not once is one distracted by the process of ‘acting’ or the tedious parlour-game of fawning over a star actor’s impersonation of a real-life character. In Sam Riley, the film finds not only a man with an uncanny likeness to Ian Curtis, but more importantly, a rhetorically-correct actor who knows when to do very ‘little’ in order to portray the correct level of opacity and ordinariness in Curtis, which was the real paradox and tragedy of his brief life and career. (October 2007)

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