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Brassed Off More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Movie Review on the romantic/comedy, 'Brassed Off'

Author: morris_munchles from hobart, tasmania
30 August 2001

'Brassed Off', directed by Mark Herman, is an entertaining story about a colliery band from northern England fighting to save there coal mine. Starring Peter Postlethwaite, as Danny, Ewan McGregor, as Andy, and Tara Fitzgerald as Gloria, this drama/romance/comedy really opens your eyes to the effect the Margaret Thatcher government had on mining communities.

The plot follows a small band as they battle to save their mine from closer and to continue playing. Danny, the conductor of the band, is very passionate about his music and he strives to win the national championship. From the beginning of the film it is clear that the miners are without hope and disheartened by the possible loss of their jobs. Their families are just as effected as they battle to put food on the table. The storyline, although weak at times, is generally entertaining and strong performances from all actors/actresses, especially Postlethwaite and McGregor, captivate the depth of such an emotional time. Probably th most distinst feature of the movie is it's soundtrack. Brilliant music including 'The William Tell Overture' and 'Danny Boy' add to the film and link together different scenes affectively.

In my opinion this film was quite good and I thouroughly enjoyed watching it despite some scenes being badly crafted and unnecessary.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An outstanding, sadly misunderstood film.

Author: ih8moofies from The Midlands, England
27 August 2001

Every time I have seen this film I have been moved to tears which is not an easy task.

Many commenters have complained that it's political and that the political message is crammed down your throat. I was not surprised to note that most of these people were not English and therefore less likely to have seen this story unfold in real life. I however felt the political message was welcome and handled well - it is difficult not to keep returning to the issue of pit closure since that is what the film is about.

The characters were realistic and beautifully portrayed, with Pete Poselthwaite, as usual, a delight to watch.

It is impossible to comment on this film without commenting on it's phenomenal soundtrack. (For the person who asked - the band would have to close as it is a colliery band.) In particular, I was absolutely blown away by the chilling performance of Concierto d'Aranjuez over the scenes of negotiation - I cannot think of many film moments to better it.

Overall, a stunning and powerful tale about an crumbling industry that is bringing lives down as it falls. Not the romantic comedy some seem to bill it as, but ne'ertheless a masterpiece that shows the best the British film industry has to offer.

10/10 and more.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Music as a weapon

Author: valadas from Portugal
12 March 2001

In 1995 the Tory Government in Great Britain goes on with the policy initiated by Mrs Thatcher in 1984 of closing down coal pits and mines, making thousands of people jobless and miserable. Against this dramatic background which brings despair to a lot of families causing a lot of domestic trouble, a bunch of miners and a girl unite themselves with the aim of maintaining alive an old brass band in a Yorkshire mining town as a way of fighting the mine closure. We hear music that warm our hearts up and makes us forget for a moment the miners' drama. Despite some sentimental cliches like the one of the estranged wife who comes at last to see her husband play and that one of the dying band director who flees away from hospital to watch the band performance, this film conveys a message of will and solidarity in a rather efficient though sober way. It's worth seeing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Whats wrong with politics in films?

Author: johnpowell ( from Bristol, Uk
23 February 2001

Why are some people objecting to the political angle taken by this film.?For sure it is a movie with a strong political bias but why should that bother anyone. Political content is surely as valid as any other in movies. Those who think it has been "rammed down their throats"- good! at least there is a chance it stimulates people to think about politics and does not try to subliminally sell us some unobtainable "Hollywood Dream". I agree that the political angle is a little unsubtle but this is still a movie which has captured a balance between tragedy and comedy (Find a recent Hollywood blockbuster which doesn't ram sentimentality ,saccharine sweetness or one dimensional human emotion "down your throat" few and far between I think). There are some excellent performances from the cast and the music is as important as any of the characters. For sure the undertones are unsubtle but its honest and entertaining. Not a great film but truly absorbing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This movie really touched me

Author: Patrik Kempe ( from Åtvidaberg, Sweden
23 February 2001

Having planned on seeing this movie for quite some time, I must say I certainly wasn't disappointed. How close you got to the characters and their lives really had me there, leaving me walking around the house planlessly for a while after the film had ended. The plot has the sort of authenticity that makes it feel like not just a regular movie, but goes beyond that.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Most excellent ensemble of actors, great musical score.

Author: LadyHawk-15 from USA
7 November 2000

I have watched this movie several times. I hope it is issued on DVD soon. The relationships amongst these men remind me of those portrayed in the movie "The Full Monty". The music score is absolutely fantastic. It isn't just marching music. The way they use the hauntingly beautiful Rodrigo's "Aranjuez" to punctuate the scenes of opening negotiations between the union and the mine workers has to be seen and heard to be appreciated.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best British films ever

Author: Daniel Robinson (
3 November 2000

This is a great film, much better than the Full Monty. It perfectly catches the mood of helplessness in a run down community. The performances are all excellent, particularly from Pete Posselthwaite as the band leader Danny, and Stephen Tompkinson as his son.

Despite having a depressing subject matter, this film is at times funny and very moving.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful music but..

Author: MundaneNoodle from leominster, ma
21 June 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It takes itself a little too seriously. (Beware, some spoilers ahead) Yes, very sad that coal is rapidly approaching obsolescence as a profitable industry. Yes, very sad that coal pits are closed by order of Parliament, and the working class and their families gets screwed yet again. I guess the movie implies that we are to feel sorry for them, keep the mine and all the others open, just so some have a place to work. Then we are also supposed to feel sorry for those miners who choose to work in the pit their whole lives, and get Black Lung Disease. Hello? Were it not for this heavy-handed political message, it would be a very enjoyable movie. But it comes across just as somewhat entertaining.

The music sounds fantastic on DVD, the selections are fresh, wonderfully arranged, and beautifully performed. As well, the acting is very good, nothing really wrong there. It's just that the sub-plots are so very cliche and predictable. And of course the humor is extremely dry, but there could have been more laughs here and there.

(Major spoiler here)The ending provided very mixed emotions for me, and I can't say that I bought into it. So they win at Albert Hall after a blazing and very satisfying performance of the William Tell Overture. Danny refuses the trophy, walks center stage to the conductor's pulpit,(looked like he was getting up on his pedestal to me) and goes off on a somewhat irrelevant five minute tirade about Margaret Thatcher, the evil Tory party, the tragic closing of coal mines, and how people are more important than progress. The last point merits some consideration, but the overall message is driven home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The music and Pete Postlewaite's performance nudges this viewer's rating from a six to a 7/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: davet1 from Fremont, CA
1 February 2000

This film breaks the stale mold of cookie-cut Hollywood Hoopla. A refreshing look at the lives of the members of a brass band in a small coal mining community and the impact of music on their lives. Beautiful brass band music and extremely accurate feel for the mood of the 80s as the nationalised coal industry started to close it's doors and the struggles involved in keeping the brass band together. This film is about life itself, the beauty of (non synthesized) music, the beauty of (non synthesized) filmmaking and a magnificently uplifting (if unbelievable) ending. A very happy and "feel-good" film, well made, good music, good acting (Pete Postlethwaite (sp?)), movie. One of my all time favourites!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good performances make this movie

Author: Rob Paul from Glasgow, Scotland
5 July 1999

I must admit that the only reason I watched this movie was because it came free with a DVD player I bought. Brassed bands doesn't sound like the kind of subject matter that would intrigue me. However, this movie should be given a chance because of the quality of acting (tara and pete in particular), and it has a certain endearing feel to it.

Movies dealing with social/political themes can often be bogged down resulting in films that just care about hammering home the point. Luckily these themes while forming the basis of the movie, don't overwhelm your enjoyment, and the final speech is where the director finally let's leesh the brunt of feelings that had been building up throughout the movie.

Oh, and the brassed band performed admirably too. This will be overlooked by many people, which is a shame really, because it's one of the better british films in the last few years.


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