Joy Division

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Another first feature from a young British director hobbled by an only-too-familiar problem: a script that should never have been set before the camera. Nothing to do with the Mancunian art-rockers or even the Nazis’ female sex slaves, it’s the chronicle of a German youth raised in the wartime era of ‘strength through joy’, who’s captured by the Soviets and later does duty as a KGB spy in ’60s London, where the freedoms he experiences teach him the meaning of happiness for the first time. No shortage of ambition there, but the time-skipping screenplay never finds a way of dramatising its protagonist’s journey through genuine tension, relying instead on an almost incessant voiceover to tell us what we’re seeing and what the central character’s feeling about it. The result is tiresomely tedious, to say the least, which makes the overstretched production design (disused Eastern Bloc factories for the WWII carnage) and showroom dummy performances (the hyper-sincere dialogue leaves leading man Ed Stoppard high and dry) even more of a liability. Hard to see the advantage in exposing this to a theatrical release.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Friday November 17 2006
105 mins

Cast and crew

Reg Traviss
Tom Schilling
Ed Stoppard
Bernadette Heerwagen
Bernard Hill
Michelle Gayle
Lea Mornar
Suzanne von Borsody
Bernard Kay
Sean Chapman
Sybille Gebhardt
Gyula Benedek
Marlon Kittel
Ricci Harnett
Thomas Darchinger
Torkoly Levente
Ram John Holder
Kincso Petho
Dietrich Hollinderbaumer
Lili Bordan
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