I REALLY like this film. It's the story of a once-legendary 70's rock band called Strange Fruit who split acrimoniously and then are asked to reunite for a 20th anniversary concert. They are of course VERY rusty, as they all moved on outside the music business, and there are a lot of old wounds from their days together that are just scabbed over but not quite healed.
There's just so much about this to like I don't know where to start, but how about the cast. Everyone including Stephen Rea and Timothy Spall do a great job, but Bill Nighy stands out as the cocky lead singer who believes the whole band hates him because he replaced a beloved singer who OD'd years before. And Billy Connelly nearly steals the show as the roadie Hughie, who acts as a chorus for the action and a babysitter for the band. And Actor/Director/Screenwriter Bruce Robinson puts on the wearied and wounded rock star coat like he's been wearing it all his life.
The original music, while not quite Grammy quality, is a good fit and sounds like it could be 70's arena rock. And why not? It was written by such as Mick Jones and Jeff Lynne, not a bunch of idiot screenwriters who haven't listened to the radio since Glenn Miller. And the fact that the actors did their own singing just made things even better. The singing sounds a little rough, but I think that's the point. These guys are older and out of practice, and they should sound like it.
If you liked The Commitments, pair it up with this as a double feature. Some really funny scenes, along with some poignant ones as well, make this film a delight. "The Flame Still Burns".