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Control (2007)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  5 October 2007 (UK)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 43,782 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 138 user | 178 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Title: Control (2007)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 29 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Debbie Curtis
...
Annik Honore
...
...
...
Craig Parkinson ...
...
Andrew Sheridan ...
Terry
Robert Shelly ...
Twinny
...
Mr. Curtis - Ian's Father
Tanya Myers ...
Ian's Mother
Martha Myers Lowe ...
Ian's Sister (as Martha Myers-Lowe)
...
Nick
David Whittington ...
Chemistry Teacher
Edit

Storyline

Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he's almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn't know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him. Written by Marco van Hoof <k_luifje7@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Controle - A História de Ian Curtis  »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,674 (USA) (12 October 2007)

Gross:

$871,577 (USA) (25 January 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script for the film was written to be told in flashback. This was later changed by the director because he felt it was more emotional to follow Ian's journey linearly. See more »

Goofs

On the contract signed in Tony's blood, drummer Stephen Morris' name is spelled Steven. (The band mocks Tony's lightheadedness from the blood loss by falsely telling him that "Morris" needs to have a second "s" added, but no mention is made of the misspelling of his first name.) See more »

Quotes

Ian Curtis: When you look at your life, in a strange new room, maybe drowning soon, is this the start of it all?
See more »

Connections

References The Sound of Music (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Candidate
(Ian Curtis / Peter Hook / Stephen Morris / Bernard Sumner)
Published by Zomba Music Publishers Limited
Performed by Joe Anderson (as Anderson), James Anthony Pearson (as Pearson),
Sam Riley (as Riley), Harry Treadaway (as Treadaway)
Courtesy of Northsee Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Atrocity Exhibition - Too Easy to Watch
9 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Well...to be brutally honest, it was terrible. The film was really very weak and didn't entice in any way. The thing looked quite nice, all black and white monochrome photography, but even that was only good in spurts.

Full of rock biopic cliché's, it was simply too easy to watch, a factor that jarred considerably with the dynamic that made Joy Division (and Ian Curtis) appeal to such a vast amount of people. This dynamic, typified by eerie and haunting atmospheres(excuse me) which seem horribly alienating at first but ultimately draw you in with the accurate depiction of the depths and despair of the human mind, is something that sets the band apart from the crowd. They created their own unique sound that transcended boundaries and created a new strand of punk music. This film was an opportunity to apply that ethic to another medium, to truly realise the essence of the man and the band.

The line (paraphrasing): "It feels like its somebody else, just wearing my skin" is indicative of the films outward appeal and its mainstream tendencies. In fact, the film is far more malignant and sinister than Curtis' own dissolution.

A travesty. The good bits(or the bits that weren't really bad), which were mainly the parts where the band were playing gigs, only served to make you feel horribly let down at how good the film could have been and how much of an injustice the source material had been paid.

The casting seemed good on paper, having an unknown playing the main part and giving Samantha Morton a supporting role as the suffering wife. But it just didn't work. Morton was a cliché of the down-trodden and doting wife, all watery eyed and desperately attempting to put their problems out of her mind, and Sam Riley was far too much like a certain more modern 'punk icon', Pete Doherty. It was bizarre, I couldn't get him out of my mind, the big drawn eyes, the wiry gangly frame, the cocky charm, the theatrically wistful stare, it was ridiculous... And from what's been written, nothing like Ian Curtis; he wasn't attractive, he wasn't likable; he was an ugly, cold, self-involved person, and knew it.

I won't mention the rest of the cast, as I feel I may just sound like an angry Joy Division fan. Suffice to say, the earlier comment about rock biopic clichés applies.

I was so disappointed, thought it was going be good and it just wasn't. Simple as that. And I hate it when films try to condone suicide, its such a pathetic thing to do, the guy had plenty of people who cared about him, but still he screwed them all over. Some would argue that it doesn't condone it, it simply shows it, but this I would disagree with.

Saying that, go see it, the songs are played well for the most part(the band who play Joy Division are actually a Leeds band in real life, and actually play the songs), and there are one or two really nice shots of Maccelsfield(!), particularly towards the start. One in particular of the couple sat under a tree just before he proposes sticks out. You may like it, I don't know, it seems plenty of people do for some reason!

I appreciate that many will disagree with my opinions, which is fine, but just know that I care very much about cinema, and am very worried and disturbed when films such as this receive such acclaim.


39 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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