Telstar: The Joe Meek Story

"Excellent"

Telstar: The Joe Meek Story Review


As chaotic and energetic as a 1960s British comedy, this film traces six years in the life of the world's first truly independent record producer. It doesn't say anything new, but the story is remarkable.

In 1961, Joe Meek (O'Neill) runs his music empire from a flat above a shop in Holloway Road, North London, where his landlady (Ferris) tries to ignore the ruckus upstairs. Joe surrounds himself with beautiful young men that he crafts into pop sensations, reaching the peak of success with the UK and US chart-topper Telstar. But Joe is also a victim of bad organisation, paranoia and depression, which leads him to alienate the talented people around him, including both musicians and his financier (Spacey).

With his directing debut, Moran shows a strong, witty filmmaking style that immediately draws us in, mainly because the movie has such a distinctly original look and feel. The screen bristles with madcap activity, much of which is outrageously camp. Scenes are overcrowded both with dialog and people. At one point, the young composer Geoff Godard (Burke) echoes our thoughts when he says, "I don't know what's going on or who anyone is!" In other words, stop trying to understand everything and just go with the flow.

And what a flow it is. Meek's story is a rollercoaster of comedy and emotion, with wild mood swings and some frightening moments of intense darkness. O'Neill plays this so well that we identify with the eager little boy inside as well as the guy who has both sold his soul and taken everyone else's. And the excellent supporting cast combines physicality with personality to allow each person to stand out from the crowd. Spacey has a hilarious Terry Thomas thing going on, while cameos from the likes of Carl Barat and Justin Hawkins, plus many of the real-life characters, add superb texture.

As it progresses, a strongly theatrical sensibility betrays the script's origins as a stage play. The performances are heightened, and the foreshadowing cutaways are a bit heavy-handed. But this only adds to the overall sense that the world is slightly shifting on its axis as the manufactured pop star is born before our eyes.



Telstar: The Joe Meek Story

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 119 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th June 2009

Distributed by: PreviewNetworks

Production compaines: Aspiration Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 21 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Simon Jordan,

Starring: as Joe Meek, as Major Banks, as Mrs. Violet Shenton, J. J. Feild as Heinz Burt, as Clem Cattini, as Geoff Goddard, as Chas Hodges

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.