Brassed Off - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brassed Off Reviews

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May 6, 2017
Gloria Mullins (Tara Fitzgerald) has been sent to her home town of Grimley to determine the profitability of the pit for the management of British Coal. She also plays the flugelhorn, and is allowed to play with the local brass band after playing Concierto de Aranjuez with them. The band is made up of miners from whom she must conceal her purpose. She renews a childhood romance with Andy Barrow (Ewan McGregor), which soon leads to complications. Andy is bitter about the programme of pit closures and determined to fight on, but he is also realistic about the circumstances and predicts a 4-to-1 majority for closure and redundancy. When Andy realises that Gloria is working for management, he accuses her of na´vety for thinking that the Coal Board is considering whether the pit has any viable future and argues that the decision to close Grimley would have been taken years ago. The passionate band conductor, Danny Ormondroyd (Pete Postlethwaite), finds he is fighting a losing battle to keep the rest of the band members committed. His son Phil (Stephen Tompkinson) is badly in debt and becomes a clown for children's parties, but fails to prevent his wife and children walking out on him. Danny suddenly collapses in the street and is hospitalised, but continues to exhort the band to continue in the national competition, but friction and pressure are all too evident within the band. Phil then reveals to Danny that in light of the colliery's closure, the band has decided not to continue playing...

"Brassed Off" carriers a serious tone within the dark comedy structure of the film. The threat of closure of an industry (in this case coal mines) and the loss of hundreds of jobs and a full demoralisation of a whole town and the consequences of that is of course a social political problem that can happen anywhere and as a comment is important to communciate. Parts of the film make references to the huge increase in suicides that resulted from the end of the coal industry in Britain, and the struggle to retain hope in the circumstances. The film is set during a period in the early 1990s when the miners put up very little resistance to a wave off pit closures, in contrast to the year-long strike undertaken in 1984-85. This demoralization of the militant miners was the basis behind the idea of being "brassed off"."Brassed Off" has humour (with a bit of darkness to it), a message, believeable characters and human warmth. The cast is great with Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor on top. Yes, the film is a bit flawed in the editing of the storyline in my opinion, but it┤s not really disturbing the film in any way. It was nice to re-see the oh so lovely Tara Fitzgerald yet again as I haven┤t seen her on the screen for quite some time. "Brassed Off" is well worth a watch for the compelling story, the great acting and the lovely music from the Grimley Colliery Brass band.

Trivia: Pete Postlethwaite's final speech was not rehearsed in front of the rest of the cast. This was because the director wanted genuine reactions from everyone on hearing it.
January 30, 2017
Mark Herman's earlier work is Little Voice and this one is another critics' darling. The same old feel-good genre which can hardly go wrong. Everyone needs affirmation that life is not as tough as we think and human spirit will pull us through. We will buy and most certainly I will, IF this kind of movies will spare us the big speeches, the standing ovation, the coming-of-age, twisted sad faces etc. In short, cut the schmaltzy crap.

I think Brassed Off get away with alot of bashing just because the characters speak with a heavy accent and the story's backdrop is a very idyllic small town.
January 5, 2017
although the plot is familiar, excution is great and full of charm. Genuine.
November 5, 2016
A solid drama with plenty of emotional scenes although perhaps a little too political towards the end.
½ October 8, 2015
Had heart but no romance and kinda boring
March 15, 2015
Movie night with Iris.

So many of these films in the 90s. However its charming, well-acted and with added poignancy since Postlethwaite subsequently died.
September 1, 2014
Great british film, full of every emotion
May 2, 2014
Heart warming story of a mining community and its band.
½ November 1, 2013
A Great British classic. Pete Postlethwaite is missed.
October 12, 2013
was a miner me sen and this captures the pit closure times perfect.Tompkinson should have got top honours for his role, a man on the edge.
Super Reviewer
August 29, 2013
Another pretty good movie from Mark Herman, who also did Little Voice, a movie I reviewed a couple of days ago. And, like Little Voice, there's a more serious message at its core. Though this movie did it far more openly than Little Voice ever did. Of course, the movie wears its message on its sleeves and that message is shitting on the government for closing down mining pits that have led, since the 80s, to 250,000 people losing their jobs. The movie sees a community of miners, who also happen to be in a brass band, fighting to keep their jobs, fighting what is, most likely, a losing battle. The brass band is the only thing that is really keeping them together during this difficult time, so the movie is definitely as dramatic as it is comedic. But there is a problem with this. It's not bad, and I actually did like the dramatic stuff. While cliched and a little sappy, its characters are likable and easy to relate to. The problem is that, outside of a few exceptions, the comedy and the drama never mix. The movie goes like this the first 40 minutes or so of the movie are the comedic portion of the film. This first part of the film is like one film unto itself. The next 40 minutes are dedicated to the more serious stuff, with little to any comedy. The last 20 minutes of the movie are the preparation for the finals and the finals itself, nothing really funny or dramatic here...well other than Danny's speech when they win, which was probably a little preachy, yet still effective. And I think that's a problem, the movie never finds the right balance at all. It's like you'd tell your children, boys play with boys and girls play with girls. Except that in this case it's the comedy and the drama. The movie just never finds a consistent tone. I realize a lot of movies take this same approach. Yet, somehow, in this movie it's far more obvious than in a lot of other movies. It was really jarring to spend 40 straight minutes without a single laugh. And, again, I think they do a good job at really showing how the government's decision will negatively affect many families, this is illustrated the most in Phil's character, but I think this part of the movie could've used a little more comedy. And that's this movie's biggest problems, the comedy and the drama in this film are kept as far apart as is humanly possible. Because of that, it ends up feeling like 2 different movies in one. I think the writing is solid, the comedy is good but, much like Little Voice, not laugh out loud funny. I really did like the movie. If it hadn't been for the way the two genres were kept apart as if they were allergic to one another. But this movie has all the ingredients, a solid cast, some good writing and some social commentary. Granted the social commentary is WAY to obvious but, again, the movie makes a lot of good points. Still the movie is, structurally, a goddamn mess. Pretty good movie but a disappointment in some regards.
July 24, 2013
DVD scratched so didn't finish it... Didn't mind.
½ June 22, 2013
ewan mcgregor in one of his better movies and you really feel for the town with the struggles they are going thru. definitely worth watching :)
May 14, 2013
A classic film still one off my favourites! Ok for all the people who don't know brassed off is a true story. It is set in Grimely AKA Grimethorpe, Barnsley, England. It is based around the pits collery band. The band evenchaly works there way up to performing at the albert hall for the great britan brass band championships. The story is a rollercoster of emotion with some very emotional scences. With it been about the pit closures in Yorkshire there is some pretty strong language. It's the classic Margrate Thatcher against the minors! Oh & by the way I live in an old mining village in yorkshire and belive me the pit closure really screwed things up! Overall the film is very griping & emotional. IT'S A MUST WATCH! P.s. Sorry for any bad spelling & no structure to my writing I did this all on my iPod.
March 16, 2013
The Yorkshire valleys are alive with the sound of music--Sentimental, tub-thumping tosh!!
½ January 16, 2013
Some outstanding brass band music spiced with a lot of pro-Labour Party, anti-Thatcher sentiment.
December 23, 2012
Wonderful, heartwarming true story about hope in the face of loss, with a great performance by Pete Postlethwaite and wonderful Brit cast.
December 7, 2012
Will have to watch this one. Not necassarily good or bad. Will see. Want to watch!
Super Reviewer
½ September 30, 2012
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.
August 29, 2012
Excellent Pete Postlethwaite.
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