R&A 11: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

1 h 53 min  |  Love&Anarchy  |  Release Date: 15.9.2011

A barnstorming, passionate performance from Andy Serkis brings 1970s music legend Ian Dury stunningly back to life in this gutsy biopic, written by Paul Viragh, directed by Mat Whitecross and produced by Serkis himself. It's obviously a labour of love, but it never looks laborious. Dury was the singer-songwriter and pugnacious polio survivor who in the glorious anyone-can-have-a-go era of punk became a mega-star. Andy Serkis's recreation of Dury gave me goosepimples, and his vocals – Serkis himself sings all the classic tracks with the real band, the Blockheads – are eerily good.

As portrayed by Serkis, Dury is not just a wild man; he's an aesthete and provocateur: the missing link between Oscar Wilde and Morrissey, with a soupçon of Boomtown Rat vintage Bob Geldof. He's also, interestingly, a touch more aspirational socially than you'd think. When his son Baxter, nicely played by Bill Milner, is bullied for sounding posh, Dury Sr indignantly denies the charge: "We're not posh, we're arts and crafts!”

-Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


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