Brassed Off (1997)
Movie InfoEconomics and music are the twin focal points of this comedy/drama about a community in crisis. The small British town of Grimley has long been dominated by the coal mine where most of the men work, and the town's greatest source of pride is the Grimley Colliery Band, a brass ensemble that's won a number of nationwide competitions. Danny (Pete Postlewaite) is a retired miner in poor health who directs the band; a national championship is coming up, and Danny is determined that Grimley will walk away with a trophy. But many of his musicians have other things on their minds: word has it that the mine may soon close down, and, in a city already suffering an economic downturn, this is just short of a death sentence. Adding to the intrigue is the return of Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald), who used to live in Grimley and is back in town for a while on an assignment. While the band has traditionally been all-male, Danny considers bending the rules to allow Gloria in the band, as she's a fine fluglehorn player, but her presence is bad news for the town: she works for the government and is investigating the feasibility of closing down the mine. Ace trumpeter Andy (Ewan McGregor) also has mixed feelings about Gloria; they were once a couple, and he still has feelings for her, but he's not sure he wants to set himself up for another breakup. The real-life Grimethorpe Colliery Band performs on the soundtrack. … More
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Critic Reviews for Brassed Off
Writer/director Herman pulls off a popular, proletarian comedy which might actually appeal to the people it's about.
The characters are beautifully drawn in this bittersweet melodrama written and directed by Mark Herman.
A shining ensemble cast that hits all the right notes makes Brassed Off toot sweet.
Shamelessly manipulative and sentimental, but in an agreeably familiar way.
An accessible, entertaining package that is at once formulaic and cliché-busting.
Touching story is a good early showcase for McGregor
fun but overrated
Brassed Off drives toward an ending that combines bitterness and high spirits, plus a heavy measure of romanticism. Like the movie itself, it's an odd mix with a lusty, lingering appeal.
Like the music it celebrates, "Brassed Off" is in-your-face yet sentimental, rousing yet sad, defiant but full of heart.
When it gets serious, "Brassed Off" is maudlin, mediocre and maddening. And, unfortunately, it gets more and more serious as it progresses.
At once a tear-jerker and a life-affirming comedy, "Brassed Off" is the best kind of mush.
In the end ... the undeniable power and emotional richness of this film swing the balance toward the good.
McGregor breathes life into a less-than-interesting role, Fitzgerald shines and Tompkinson is excellent as a man on the brink of cracking up. But Postlethwaite takes top honours ...
Director Mark Herman conveys England's controversial mine-pit-closure program in a dark, docudrama style that echoes the gritty realism achieved in the works of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.
Audience Reviews for Brassed Off
Quaint little story about miners from a Northern England town losing their quarry but finding unity in their brass band. Apparently it's a true story, the film is completely accurate, and the band still plays today (and indeed provide the soundtrack). Although not the most engrossing story ever, it is heart warming in a way that grows on you with time.More
Certainly not as bad as all the other horrible Comedy/Dramas of the time, it's not that bad at all but it does suffer many of the cliches and is a little insulting towards our northern friends (yet it was made by northerners, so what you gonna do?) I'm guess the producers pinch might be at fault here but still, this is as good as it got.
PS. Flixster has got the date wrong, this came out in 1994!
In retrospect, this film deserves another star just for the late great Pete Postethwaite's brilliant performance!
A lovable, if formulaic and slightly predictable, film concerning a dying town in England which has been ravaged by poor politicians, and how the citizens there interact and keep each other's spirits strong through the use of forming their own music band. The real reason to see this movie is for the late great Pete Postlethwaite, who is one of the best actors ever in my opinion, and he once again delivers a stunning performance as the band's emotional orchestrator. As said, it is not a perfect movie and at one point it threatens to get a bit too into the dark aspects of it, but Postlethwaite's performance coupled with a well-paced plot and incredibly satisfying ending makes this one a winner in the end.More
All band music fans must see this. Reminds me of a cross between Billy Elliot and Drumline. Coal may be dead, but music never ever dies. Is it really true that everything, in the end, is political? Really, the most fun I've ever had watching Pete Postlethwaite, and it's a very -- please forgive me -- sweet love story to boot. I've seen Tara Fitzgerald work the camera before, but this time it's official: I'm in love. Tara, you can play flügelhorn with me any time. Ewan, keep at the acting lessons.More
Brassed Off Quotes
- Do you want to come up for a coffee?
- I don't drink coffee.
- I haven't got any.
- More than ought else here that symbolizes pride, it's this bloody band!
- This is music.. And it's music that matters!
- Bit clumsy with the crockery, your Sandra.
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