Saturday, 24 July 2010
SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL
Born 12th May 1942, Ian Dury contracted polio at the age of 7, and went on to academic success after spending time in hospital and a school for disabled children.
Matt Whitecross' film takes us through Dury's formative years via a series of flashbacks, intermingled with the twin chaos of his stage act and personal life.
Shot in the style of BRONSON via 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, this is an entertaining and thought provoking account of a tortured artist who had the punk attitude coupled with genuine music hall appeal. Dury always saw himself as a "lurker", rather than a pop star, and his 'tough love' upbringing encouraged him to stand up for himself and create an example for a group of people who are most assuredly capable of great things. Here, Andy Serkis becomes Dury both in sight and sound, alienating his nearest and dearest, pissing off the establishment throughout his life and fashioning some wonderfully memorable tunes. By turn, moving, infuriating, fast paced and funny, SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL rarely misses a beat, painting a colourful and haunting picture of someone I'll always remember as a national treasure.
With Olivia Williams, Naomie Harris and Ray Winstone as wife, lover and father, the cast is always solid but it's Serkis who really delves into the extraordinary, taking me back to the Stiff Records tour and Dury's gigs with the likes of Elvis Costello and Lena Lovich (unfortunately absent here). Happily, Dury's Kilburn & The High Roads days are also chronicled, culminating in a true punk rock gig at a dingy London pub before the Blockheads were formed a little later.
Fans will lap up the live stuff and be taken back to those heady days when "Sweet Gene Vincent" soared out of concert halls and into the streets where it belonged. Credit to Serkis who does an amazing job, leading the old Blockheads band without lip- synching and delivering a mesmerising performance.
Ian Dury left us on 27th March 2000. His songs live on and this film will undoubtedly bring a new generation of fans to some great music.