One Chance

Monday, April 14, 2014

 One Chance (2013)

Biography/ Drama/ Comedy (103 minutes) [12a]

 One Chance is an inspirational biopic that captures the hearts and minds of the audience, as it attempts to take the viewer on the rags to riches journey of world renowned Opera singer and 2007 Britain’s Got Talent champion Paul Potts. 

With a brilliantly cast assortment of British acting talent this is one film that is almost comparable to the brilliance of such classics as Brassed off, Little Voice or Made in Dagenham.

James Corden shakes off his laddish and comedic stereotype with his meaningful portrayal of the wannabe Opera virtuoso. At first one may be alarmed at the through and through Londoner attempting his best Bristol drawl. Do not let this be a deterrent, Corden preservers with this to bring to life the wretched childhood, love life and eventual stardom of Paul Potts.

Assisting Corden in this triumph over adversity plot is a wealth of support, such as Mackenzie Crook portraying Paul Potts Phone shop supervisor and rebellious best friend, Colm Meaney playing the stern disenchanted, proletarian father figure and Julie Walters who does her kindly and eccentric mother hen routine with her usual gusto. A real pleasure to watch is the lesser known Alexandra Roach, who plays the love interest of Potts.

Academy Award winning Director David Frankel, somehow manages to keep it all together and down to earth by filming exclusively in Port Talbot. His attention to detail in capturing the drudgery of everyday life, such as working at the local branch of Carphone Warehouse and gritty steelwork scenes, assist in convincing the audience of how the young Potts would have undoubtedly found the small town existence tough. One can easily believe from several early scenes, that Potts would have certainly been the outcast for not holding the same values or interests as his contemporaries.

Even if you’ve never heard of Paul Potts or watched Britain’s Got Talent, you’re never in any doubt as to how this ends. The audition scene from the tenor’s turn on Britain’s Got Talent is intercut with real footage from the ITV broadcast with a significantly less polished-looking Piers, Simon and Amanda. Frankel’s decision to end the film just as Paul is on the cusp of fame is a genius move.

Although not quite as musical-worthy as films such as Billy Elliot, the heart-warming underdog subject matter is a recipe for success. The chosen cast complement each other well. Even though somewhat predictable, this film will certainly leave you with that satisfied feeling one gets after watching a good film.



Matt Roberts (Project Coordinator)




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