Telstar (15)

Film

Drama

TELstar.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 16 2009

For better or worse, it’s an extraordinary piece of British pop history: former RAF radar boffin Joe Meek installs himself above a bag shop (now a kebab house) on Holloway Road, where he crafts 1962’s landmark ‘Telstar’, a slice of 45rpm perfection which was the first British single to top the US charts. Meek’s career didn’t hit the heights for long, however, as musical fashion moved on while his amphetamine consumption, interest in the occult and troubled gay sexuality addled his decision-making process, setting the scene for a tragic finale. Overall, we’re indebted to Nick Moran’s film for putting the Joe Meek story, in all its gumption and strangeness, back in the spotlight, yet the utterly unruly trajectory of Meek’s personal and professional career makes it an awkward customer on celluloid.

The film is at its best when Con O’Neill’s full-on Meek has an ensemble to act against in recreating the larky glitter of Britain’s formative pop years. That’s partly thanks to jaunty support from James Corden and Ralf Little as musicians, and JJ Feild is spot-on as talent-free singing sensation Heinz Burt while plummy Kevin Spacey is a good sport as Meek’s backer, Major Banks. However, as the tone darkens and O’Neill’s left carrying the story on his own, it’s less compelling, exposing the fact that the script never really gets inside Meek’s head to allow us to experience the downward slide with him – instead of observing it with increasingly academic interest. Even if ‘Telstar’ can’t quite get the measure of its fascinating material, its pluck and ambition prove infectious enough to outweigh its flaws.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 19, 2009

Duration:

118 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|11
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Hannah

I love this film! I got it for my Christmas present as I wanted to see Carl Barats acting skills and after watching it once I fell in love with the film and now I cant get enough of it. The songs are amazing and has opened my music taste and I am very glad I got this. 5 stars! but I was disappointed that Carl was only in it for 10 minutes :\ Still an amazing film though!

Hannah

I love this film! I got it for my Christmas present as I wanted to see Carl Barats acting skills and after watching it once I fell in love with the film and now I cant get enough of it. The songs are amazing and has opened my music taste and I am very glad I got this. 5 stars! but I was disappointed that Carl was only in it for 10 minutes :\ Still an amazing film though!

David Richards

Having just bought the DVD I must say I have to agree with Wendy Burton's criticisms of the film. I found it very disappointing. It came over as a manic black comedy. Whilst there was an element of black humour and irony to the story I think this was way over-exploited, making the end result a black farce, much of it I'm sure incomprehensible to younger viewers. I thought the 'band' were very unconvincing and Kevin Spacey spoke his lines as if he feared his false moustache was going to fall off. Worst of all was that the film's title led one to believe that the film would have made much more of the remarkable success of the eponymous hit that smashed all records back in '62, topping both the British and the USA charts and selling five million copies world-wide. This should have been the central theme of the film, being Joe Meek's crowning glory. Instead it was treated, with a tongue in cheek attitude, as merely an episode in the story of Meek's manic trajectory. The film would have been more appropriately titled "The Madness of Joe Meek".

JACK

A great performance from Con O'Neill ably assisted by a very good supporting cast. As a Joe Meek affeciado from the early days I was prepared to be disappointed...I was not, a great film and I am so glad Geoff Goddard finally get's some recognition for the musical talent he brought to Hollaway Road. Only shown for one night in York in a small cinema...why ?

JACK

A great performance from Con O'Neill ably assisted by a very good supporting cast. As a Joe Meek affeciado from the early days I was prepared to be disappointed...I was not, a great film and I am so glad Geoff Goddard finally get's some recognition for the musical talent he brought to Hollaway Road. Only shown for one night in York in a small cinema...why ?

Nicola

Absolutely brilliant! Con O'Neill is superb and the rest of the cast are fantastic. Shame it's not showing in more cinemas.

Nicola

Absolutely brilliant! Con O'Neill is superb and the rest of the cast are fantastic. Shame it's not showing in more cinemas.

Emma

I thought Telstar was BRILLIANT! I had an 'extra' part in too! I also thought JJ Feild as Heinz was brilliant & he was /is really cute too! x

Emma

I thought Telstar was BRILLIANT! I had an 'extra' part in too! I also thought JJ Feild as Heinz was brilliant & he was /is really cute too! x

robert

I had to drive 40 miles to seek out this film. For all the exposure on TV and radio, it seems to have a really limited release. But I'm really glad I did. It's a great, quirky, in your face British movie, with a terrific cast all round, and brilliantly evokes its time. Con O'Neill is wonderful.

robert

I had to drive 40 miles to seek out this film. For all the exposure on TV and radio, it seems to have a really limited release. But I'm really glad I did. It's a great, quirky, in your face British movie, with a terrific cast all round, and brilliantly evokes its time. Con O'Neill is wonderful.