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Hunky Dory Reviews

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PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2014
This British (or if you prefer Welsh) independent musical about the trials of an idealistic drama teacher as she tries to put on the end of year show, was like a book of clichés put together. That was done by the writer Laurence Coriat and directed by Welsh director Marc Evans and stars Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Kimberley Nixon and Robert Pugh.

The setting of the story is in a Welsh comprehensive school during the long hot summer of 1976, and very keen drama teacher Vivienne (Minnie Driver) fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end of year rock and roll musical version of Shakespeare's The Tempest (that David Bowie would be proud of). She has high expectations and to engage her students, she uses hits of the time, performed by a fresh young cast led by Davey (Aneurin Barnard).

It has a good message wrapped in a pleasant, feel good movie shiny wrapper (kept for a while) directed like a giant kids puzzle where you explain every piece in details, giving kids the hint where to put it. But, I have to admit I enjoyed it because all that was very smoothly done and with enthusiasm and chemistry which could not be faked! Enjoyable.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2013
Superb comedy-drama interspersed with some truly brilliant music and featuring a warm and affable performance from Minnie Driver as the EA teacher trying to direct a musical based on The Tempest. It's sort of like Glee with a degree or Pitch Perfect without the slapstick and one-liners but with added (realistic) swearing and a particularly believable exploration of sexuality. Another gem from chameleon-like director Marc Evans. Cynicism should ideally be left behind.
adawong12691
November 1, 2013
Hunky Dory was an altogether enjoyable film for me. With brilliant British music, a very fun plot and a great cast. Marc Evans impresses with his own style and twists which are likable. Even though it was slow at times and far from perfect, it still a pretty good movie.
Dave J
August 13, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

(2013) Hunky Dory
MUSICAL DRAMA

Takes place sometime during the late 1970's focusing on a choir/play group with Minnie Driver as Vivienne Mae attempting to conduct and organize a musical play of Shakespear's the Tempest. Watching this is like watching the UK equivalent of "Glee" with the only difference is that it's based on actual characters viewers don't even get to know what they really look like after the closing credits. Some of the issues regards, support from fellow teaching staff members, a brother who has an older skin head brother, hitting puberty, as well as some gay themes. I don't care.

1 star out of 4
Angelo Dean
July 6, 2014
An OK movie, I just didn't seem to connect with it. Good performance from Minnie Driver as always.

3 Stars!
PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2014
This British (or if you prefer Welsh) independent musical about the trials of an idealistic drama teacher as she tries to put on the end of year show, was like a book of clichés put together. That was done by the writer Laurence Coriat and directed by Welsh director Marc Evans and stars Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Kimberley Nixon and Robert Pugh.

The setting of the story is in a Welsh comprehensive school during the long hot summer of 1976, and very keen drama teacher Vivienne (Minnie Driver) fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end of year rock and roll musical version of Shakespeare's The Tempest (that David Bowie would be proud of). She has high expectations and to engage her students, she uses hits of the time, performed by a fresh young cast led by Davey (Aneurin Barnard).

It has a good message wrapped in a pleasant, feel good movie shiny wrapper (kept for a while) directed like a giant kids puzzle where you explain every piece in details, giving kids the hint where to put it. But, I have to admit I enjoyed it because all that was very smoothly done and with enthusiasm and chemistry which could not be faked! Enjoyable.
April 23, 2014
This sweet coming of age drama shoots its musical arrows widely. And while all the notes are there, the orchestra doesn't seem to know what song it's playing. It's harmless and breezy enough not to offend though. Easy viewing for a rainy day in.
March 8, 2014
Charming story, great (young) actors and my favourite actress Minnie Driver <3 could not be more brilliant.
March 27, 2013
Aneurin Barnard was a pleasure to listen to and to watch. Wow! Beautiful voice and he really nailed the range of awkward to shy to angry and through all of those again. The film's virtues include not being just another Glee or High School Musical but evokes realism in a way that makes me wonder about the reviewers I have seen who are too slick and cynical to see that it works in a different way.
March 4, 2013
much deeper than it seems and that is it's charm...loved it...with one quick kiss 'Miss' gets through to her student that maybe Stella is not THE one...that the pain will pass...that he is of value..totally appropriate action....great bit of writing and acting. Minie is a great story teller in real life and on screen.
July 11, 2012
driver was the wrong choice for the lead in this... if they'd gone with a rougher cast and stuck more to the kids stories than highlighting awkward teacher/student relationship then this could of been a great indie flick.
February 10, 2012
i could not even finish the trailer
Josh T.
January 12, 2012
Set in 1976 Swansea, "Hunky Dory" follows charismatic drama teacher Viv (Minnie Driver) as she attempts to stage a rock-opera version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", set on Mars. Predictably, the play serves as a catalyst to examine and solve some of the students' problems, such as broken families and burgeoning homosexuality, and as a point of confrontation between liberal Viv and other sterner and more classically minded teachers.

What the "Freedom Writers", cum "Glee", cum "School of Rock" plot lacks in originality is more than made up for by the stellar ensemble cast. Driver provides a strong, believable lead performance, supported by the frankly superb rising star Aneurin Barnard, as troubled student Davey, and backed by a surprisingly good cast of relatively unknown young actors.

Without a doubt, the best thing about "Hunky Dory" is the great soundtrack, which is performed entirely by the talented, young cast. The film features a staggering selection of classic 1970s rock artists, such as Pink Floyd, The Who, The Beach Boys, with an emphasis on David Bowie, whose album the film takes its title from.

Overall, "Hunky Dory" is a film that would appeal to the younger "Glee-generation", had it not been awkwardly clashing with a classic rock soundtrack, and a more adult storyline. Nonetheless, it is an entertaining, if schmaltzy and clichéd, film.
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