Control, a low-budget UK film based upon the life and death of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, has been critically acclaimed at Cannes.

Ten Thousand Things singer Sam Riley plays Curtis, having spent a number of years attempting to make a success of his band before landing the role of the Joy Division frontman.

Riley said he was "working in a warehouse folding shirts" when he received the call from his agent telling him he had an audition for the movie.

"He [Curtis] was an incredibly enigmatic performer - unusual, and uncomfortable in a way. And a fantastic lyricist for his age, for any age," Riley noted, while smoking profusely during the Cannes press conference.

Control opened the 60th Cannes film festival and has gone down well with critics, despite receiving no public funding for production as many UK films have in the past.

The film focuses on the gradual rise to prominence enjoyed by the Manchester band Joy Division during the late 1970s up until the release of their two albums on the Factory Records label in 1979 and 1980.

Curtis was found dead by his wife, played by Samantha Morton in the film, at their home in 1980 after he hanged himself, aged 23.

The remaining members of Joy Division went on to found New Order.

18/05/2007 11:01:54