Brassed Off Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2010
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!
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
One of the best FEEL GOOD movies ever made. On par with the Full Monty. A complete gem.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2007
Movie about a brass band against the backdrop of coal mining.
Super Reviewer
½ April 7, 2007
lovely little gem with wonderful brass band score
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2007
Sigh...yet another british comedy, the usual formula strictly adhered to, this time with a brass band. The cast is definitely a cut above the usual, but what's the point...?
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2007
I was it once and remember thinking it was okay. I can't tell you any more. The walls have ears...
Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2006
A British classic. Not so much a comedy as a moving drama with incredible performances from all. Perfectly captures the decay of the mining industry, while not sacrificing the romance and charm. Bless.
Theta Sigma
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2011
Set in the mid 1990's against the backdrop of post-Miners Strike Yorkshire, Brassed Off centres around the fictional town of Grimley where the local Coal pit has been earmarked for closure, the local brass band leader Danny (Pete Postlethwaite) is struggling to prevent the break up of the band as well.

Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald) returns to her home town and becomes the band's only female member and star flugel horn player, whilst having to hide the fact that she is writing a viability study to decide the fate of the mine. All the while, young band member Andy (Ewan McGregor) is hoping that she's come back to sort out the "unfinished business" of a childhood fumble behind the bus station.

To add to Danny's woes, his son Phil (Stephen Tompkinson) has his own troubles. Broke, with a broken trombone, debt collectors on the doorstep and wife seeking to leave him... these are troubles that even his alter ego, Mr Chuckles the clown, can't fix.

In the face of the impending pit closure and Danny's failing health, can the band make one final tilt at the National Championship at the Royal Albert Hall?

Brassed Off is one my favourites for several reasons, including one very personal reason. I'll get the personal reason out of the way first, Brassed Off was my late Grand-dad's favourite film and it never failed to get both a tear and a smile out of him every time he watched it.

Now to the other reasons, the writing of Brassed Off is clever and works on different levels. The plight of the town's pit is echoed alongside Danny's personal plight - whilst the town is threatened to have the guts ripped out of it by the pit closure, Danny's own life is threatened to have the guts ripped out of it - both physically through the illness of breathing in coal dust and emotionally through the impending break up of the band.

In addition to this, you see the conflicts facing the characters at different levels. Against the backdrop of the miners threatening to tear each other apart over the redundancy package, this is shown at a more intimate level as the news of Gloria's true reasons for returning to Grimley threaten to tear apart the fledgling romance between her and Andy.

The music is of an extremely high quality with a score by Trevor Jones that keys into the emotion of the film whilst acknowledging the roots of the film. In addition to this are songs including Floral Dance, Jerusalem, William Tell Overture and Danny Boy are performed by The Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

To match the script and the music are blistering performances by an ensemble group of actors at the top of their game and it feels a shame to single out performances.

Ewan McGregor and Tara Fitzgerald are believable as the reunited lovers, Andy and Gloria, on the verge of rekindling their relationship all the while under the threat of being torn apart by the events going on and the opinions of Andy's friends.

Stephen Tompkinson portrayal of Phil is both tragic and poignant throughout. What starts as a man who is trying to make ends meet following past events becomes a man who loses his wife, children and most tellingly, hope. Particularly powerful is the scene where he describes the unfairness of his situation in the guise of Mr Chuckles at a children's harvest festival prior to making a suicide attempt.

Last, and by certainly no means least, is the performance of the late, great Pete Postlethwaite as Danny. I could try to put many adjectives to his performance - magnetic, powerful and driven being amongst them. Suffice it to say, Postlethwaite's performance is the driving force behind the emotion for the film - especially towards the film's conclusion.

If you haven't seen this film, please give it a go. Whilst the character of Danny says that it's "music that matters", the music is a contributing factor but great stories about people with brilliant actors are why we go to the cinema.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2011
This was a lovely feel-good movie. Although, it would have been better if they'd at least tried to make certain actors learn how to play their instruments (very funny if you're watching the fingering)!
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2006
Completely and utterly British, I love it.
June 10, 2007
It may start off as a brass band but ends up a brass orchestra. GREAT music. And the story is good too; if you want details, read the summary that pops up when you put your mouse over the movie cover. Or trust me, and watch it!
October 7, 2006
Wasn't quite what I was expecting when I heard the term "romantic comedy." Excellent film that made me cry.
August 1, 2006
Thorougly enjoyed this movie. Plot ran a bit slow but characters were very strong. Gives a great look at the state of economics for Brits after the mines closed. Liked the "stuff it" sacrifice at the end.
July 27, 2006
I'm giving it 3 stars because I remembering seeing it but I don't really remember what it was about. I had the poster up on my wall for a long time, though.
May 20, 2014
Obscure British gem. One of my all-time favorite. Highly recommended
May 2, 2014
Heart warming story of a mining community and its band.
½ January 16, 2013
Some outstanding brass band music spiced with a lot of pro-Labour Party, anti-Thatcher sentiment.
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