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Hunky Dory

2013

NR
3.6 out of 5 stars (99) IMDb 6.1/10

Relive the summer of 1976 in this glam-infused British musical from the producer of "Billy Elliott", starring Minnie Driver and featuring songs by David Bowie, The Beach Boys and more.

Starring:
Minnie Driver, Kristian Gwilliam
Runtime:
1 hour, 49 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Music, Comedy
Director Marc Evans
Starring Minnie Driver, Kristian Gwilliam
Supporting actors Aneurin Barnard, Tom Rhys Harries, Adam Byard, Danielle Branch, Kimberley Nixon, Kayleigh Bennett, Darren Evans, Dafydd Llyr-Thomas, Robert Pugh, Jodi Davis, Ryan Hacker, Lewis Coster, Sam Shervill, Aled Pugh, Kyle Lewis, James Morgan, David Garner, Owen Teale
Studio Gravitas
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 27, 2012
Format: DVD
This brilliant film from Wales is set in the long hot summer of 1976, when we had it like the Mediterranean every day for months (except in Ireland where it pelted down and I had to go for a `holiday'). We meet Vivienne May (Minnie Driver) who has returned from a failed career in London to become a teacher at a not so progressive South Wales school. She is one of those teachers who feel you should get more from education than just a tick box mentality to passing exams. And as such she wants to encourage the kids to `express' themselves.

In order to help in this process, she intends to put on the school musical, and she chooses Shakespeare's `The Tempest', but with up to date and `with it' music such as Bowie, Roxy, Music and ELO. I was intrigued straight away especially with a very school like version of `Life on Mars' with a xylophone and jars filled with differing amounts of water - brilliant. Well her efforts are received with mild disfavour to outright hostility. The rugby coach says acting is effeminate and won't let his `boys' take part, the splendid Hayden Gwynn as Mrs Valentine, is a sublime cow in her efforts to undermine Vivienne, who seems to let herself down through being caught at being pally with the kids, smoking, drinking, swearing and getting stoned.

The kids themselves are all played brilliantly especially the lad who plays the only gay in the village/ school. Then there is Davy who has a crush for Miss and more mixed hormones than most of his age, but he can fair belt out a tune. The arrangements and treatments of the songs are all at the high end of excellent especially a fairly obscure Roxy number. They are also rubbish at turning up for dress rehearsal and more akin to bunking off down the Lido than learning their lines.
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Loved, loved this JEWEL of a film. The kids were all so real, the musical numbers, inspiring. The problems and growing pains the kids are facing are universal, so I don't know of any group or demographic that would not be able to relate to this slice of high school life piece from an albeit more innocent time. This Aneurin Barnard kid blew me away. His voice is sublime. I bought the soundtrack too, and his rendition of The Who's Love Reign O'er Me is chilling; although it was left out of the film, it's the best track and those vocals are in another stratosphere. Minnie was her usual adorable, sassy self. Evocative cinematography, you really feel you are in the midst of a heatwave ca. Summer of 1976. I just loved the kids singing The Man Who Sold the World too (Bowie). OUTSTANDING.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This film has Minnie Driver at her best, a charismatic maverick producing a new twist on Shakespeare as a school play. The odd hip-ness of the 70s, the music, the social clashes and colorful sets are rich stuff. Adolescent tantrums and romances occur onstage and off; and are not limited to the adolescents. What a delightful surprise!
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I am not sure if it's just because I'm not into movies "like this" because I definitely sometimes AM into movies "like this" but I found it to be slightly pleasant, but rather boring overall. If you want something that isn't too deep, or too funny, or too dramatic, or too unique, and you like movies where someone is trying to encourage an openness for art (and I'm a big fan of many forms of art, btw...) then it's possible you might like this movie a lot and worth a try. I played it while I was assembling furniture and it was okay for background listening, but I couldn't just sit still and watch it for any length of time because it was too boring to me.
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Minnie Driver and Aneurin Barnard are mesmerizing in this movie. I haven't been so pulled in by a movie, especially a musical, in ages. The soundtrack is fantastic with Bowie, Drake, ELO, Beach Boys, etc. I loved the innocence of the story and the talent. I see big things for Mr. Barnard in the future. His voice was just wonderful. If you are looking for a simple, enjoyable little indie musical, this is the one.
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I'm guessing this film isn't for older Americans since, from the other reviews, they couldn't understand Welsh accents or a modern musical format. I thought Aneurin Barnard was wonderful (what a voice!) and I loved the way 70's rock was incorporated into The Tempest. If you didn't like "Billy Elliot," perhaps you won't like this either.
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I enjoyed this movie. I was a high school teacher in 1976 so it was nostalgic for me. I’m not an expert on music or acting but I thought the cast did a fine job in both areas. The main flaw I could see was trying to cover so many of the young people’s lives made the plot a bit confusing. I confess the main reason I bought the DVD was to see Aneurin Barnard and I definitely enjoy his performance and his singing. Finally, I liked the Welsh setting and the Welsh accents.
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Format: Amazon Video
Minnie Driver excels as the hip high school drama teacher trying to instill values to her working class students. The musical numbers are a delight. I really enjoyed this British import. From the folks that gave us Billy Elliot, if you liked that movie you will probably like this one.
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