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Though I knew Ricky Gervais and Steve merchant directed it, I had no prior expectations about this movie. I did not know what it was about nor did i read any reviews before watching. Trust me, that is the best way to watch Cemetery Junction. Don't listen to the reviews of jaded film critics who over-analyze and complain about other movies being similar. This is a movie that make you feel good without explicitly being a feel-good movie. I came out feeling nostalgic for 70s Britain though I grew up in 90s USA. The dialog is witty, smart, often funny and sometimes touching. It deftly touches on themes of loss, regret, friendship, love, and following one's dreams. This is my favorite British film in quite some time. You will not regret watching this movie.
I truly loved this film especially after the rubbish films I've seen of
It was funny and emotional from start to finish. It was nostalgic of the 70's and the music was fabulous!
Ricky Gervais didn't do the usual Ricky acting and his part wasn't overplayed. The two main characters played by Christian Cooke and Tom Hughes were very good indeed.
It had a good story line, you cared about the characters, the music was great and it was hilarious.
My money was well spent and I would recommend this film without hesitation.
When I first saw the trailer for this movie.. I didn't think it would
be that good.. It looked slightly drab and it just didn't grab my
attention. However, I thought I'd give it shot as I'm a massive Gervais
fan.. and I'm so glad I did!!
I have to say I loved everything about this movie.. The cast are great and the story really takes you though the motions. It has the perfect mix of drama and comedy. The characters are well developed and I'm pretty sure most people will be able to relate to at least one of them (for me it was Snork)!!
It explores part of our human journey by expressing hope and respect for the positive values in life whilst also touching on some of the negative aspects of sheltered 70s life.
It left me with a warm feeling in my tummy and for many it will be like a having a trip down memory lane.
As an actor myself, I would do ANYTHING to be in a movie like this!!
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchants best project to date since the office!!
I'd recommend this to everyone!!
I loved it !!
"Cemetery Junction" is Ricky Gervais's second attempt at directing a
major motion picture. A fan of his previous work in television but
having been disappointed by "The Invention of Lying" I was not sure
what to expect. The final result was a 95 minute movie that was flawed
yet very fun to watch and something to lose yourself in for a short
period of time.
The plot of "Cemetery Junction" evolves around three young men in 1973 who are desperately trying to avoid spending the rest of their lives in working class Reading and ending up like their parents. The film itself is mainly a drama but there is plenty of well-placed, classic Gervais comedy throughout. The majority is setting the scene and developing the characters. However, this leads to the final twenty minutes seeming quite rushed with slightly choppy editing and throwing in a few clichés which it had previously done a good job of avoiding. The acting was brilliant for the most part, but I felt Christian Cooke (who probably has the most screen time out of the trio of friends) was a little wooden.
Overall, "Cemetary Junction" is an enjoyable film that should please Gervais fans yet can be more widely appreciated as he is attempting to do something different and, in my opinion, does a pretty good job of it.
I'm always surprised when a film I'd heard had mixed reviews at best,
turns out to be so much better than I was expecting and Cemetery
Junction is a great example of this.
It's an old fashioned feel good movie. Sure it's maybe a little twee in places and ties things up nicely at the end but what's wrong with that sometimes? Great casting with superb performances from the central few characters and again a stunning turn from Ralph Fiennes. How good an actor is that guy? Poignant, touching, both gently and laugh out loud funny in places, a great character driven plot and just very very good film making IMO. Great use of music too, which like Tarantino movies always adds massively to the overall appeal.
Can't recommend it enough. Gervais and Merchant should be very proud of themselves and I hope they're aware that this is a much better film than the box office takings would suggest.
Similar film styles would be East is East, Sideways and maybe, Letter to Brezhnev. If you liked those, watch this. You'll love it.
Loved this film. It really took me back. They don't quite nail the
period, but you can tell when Fiennes is talking about his schooldays
at the start, about leaving at 14, that they're blurring things a bit,
or at least his character doesn't realize how things have changed...
The preoccupation with obscenity, for example, is more 60s than 70s.
(They work the idea so much of the Swinging 60s passing Cemetery
Junction by that it's almost homage to Tom Courtenay and Rita
Tushingham and that crowd!) It's England before punk, before the
computer revolution, when the establishment thought they had won the
argument that there was no cause left worth rebelling for/against, when
there was still a workshop rather than silicon chip flavor to working
You can criticize the Hollywood stuff if you like, but Gervais and Merchant like to work where they can at different levels, as long as they get to take the mick out of all of them. I didn't hear the old radio shows much, but enough to know that. This is no exception. Not a strong plot. You have seen it lots of times before. Billy Liar is a better variation. But great dialog, great comic acting , beautifully observed, very funny, fantastic soundtrack. The only time I have ever liked the Osmonds' Crazy Horses. Great entertainment. You'd need to be really hard to please to be disappointed on that score. Personally I'd have liked a bit more sync with the Reading Festival, maybe some Rory Gallagher on the soundtrack, but bluesy Zeppelin will do, I'm not complaining. I'll take 2 stars off, though.
You still have to read between the lines to see the influence Ireland is starting to have. Made me wonder if they were starting to chicken out a bit from the path they've established, but we'll see, and I think there is something there. In the meantime, if you fancy a really funny film set in Belfast (different decade, 73 in Belfast was hell) there's always "An Everlasting Piece". But Cemetery Junction is not as petty and insignificant as some of the reviewers suggest. What exactly were they expecting? "Jane Eyre"? "War and Peace"?
Since the creation of The Office and Extras Ricky Gervais and Stephen
Merchant have been recognised as two of Britain's most well known
comedic talents. Gervais particularly is known as the front man and has
expanded from British television, having done stand-up tours, starred
in films, directed a film and was even a guess star in Alias. The two
men have reunited to write and direct their first film together, which
is something very different for both of them.
Christian Cooke plays Freddie Taylor, an man in his early 20s living in the early 70s suburbs of Reading, England. Freddie wants to avoid the same life path his parents and contemporaries of leaving school at 14 and work in the local factory for the rest of their lives. He goes to work at a life insurance company run by Mr. Kendrick (Ralph Fiennes) and taught by Mike Ramsay (Matthew Goode) to be a salesman. Freddie spends his time with his close friends Bruce (Tom Hughes) and Snork (Jack Doolan) and do all the jolly things of life, drinking, fighting and trying to score with girls. But Freddie is slowly growing distance from them as they refuse to shade their childish ways. Freddie remakes a friendship with Julie (Felicity Jones), a friend of his when he was 12. She tells Freddie her passion to travel the world and he too has those thoughts embedded in his head. He becomes disillurated with everything in the suburb of Cemetery Junction.
Gervais and Merchant are both known for their comedic talents and shown that they have a range of styles; with The Office's mockumentary style and Extras use of non-PC humour and personal humiliation. Gervais' own stand-up acts also relied on non-PC humour. But with Cemetery Junction the comedy is much more natural humour, relying on realistic, witty lines. It's a low key comedy but it is still very funny with laugh out loud moments. Gervais and Merchant do show their range as writers and not having to use post-modern comedy. The only moments when people speak about non-PC issues, e.g. race and mix-race, it was done more as a commentary and criticism of an older generation who are not as educated as their children. Gervais and Merchant also have a brilliant eye as directors. The early 70s was brought to live with amazing detail. The tone and music was perfectly fitting. This is a well-lit film, bright, happy and energetic. They showed that 70s Britain was not all doom and gloom and wanted to avoid kitchen-sink realism which is popular in British cinema.
The two directors do not just tell a comedy story but also a effective drama, a coming-of-age story that even has some relevance today: young people deciding whether to leave their home and travel the world. Freddie and Julie symbolies these ideas and avoid being like their parents. Julie's mother (Emily Watson) offers a touching performance as a woman who has been broken down by husband, acting as an important symbol. Watson's role is small but very powerful. There are scenes which are very serious and shows that in this type of comedy that real drama is needed to give the film more heart and keep the audience hooked. Gervais and Merchant can handle dramatic material as well as comedy.
The young cast show their talent, particularly Cooke and Hughes. They were convicting looking almost like twins showing two very different characters, with Cooke really wants to change and do something positive in his life, whilst Hughes was a man saying he wants to leave but does nothing about it and filled with anger. There are more experience actors to offer balance: as mention Watson was excellent. Fiennes and Goode both offer slimy performance as the closest thing to villains in the film. Gervais has a small role in the film and offers a good amount of non-PC humour with Anne Reid playing Freddie's Gran. Jones offered a decent performance, attempting to give Julie some heart and emotion. But her role was a little clichéd. However Doolan's character was not as believable as the dimwitted and slightly weird friend. He was not realistic in a film which is pretty down to Earth.
The story too a little cliché, but Gervais and Merchant were able to give the film enough of an twist to keep Cemetery Junction fresh and make it a funny comedy drama.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's nostalgic comedy drama of 1970s
Britain has its heart in the right place. OK, there is nothing
strikingly original here think 'The Likely Lads' meets American buddy
movie spliced with stock Gervais stand-up material but the craft of
this movie lies not in breaking boundaries. Instead, it offers its
audience a chance to feel the warm cosiness of familiarity.
The film charts the hopes and dreams of three friends as they seek to break out of a small, stagnating community before they end up trapped in the same dead-end lives of their parents. Their loyalty to each other forms the heart of the story, even as they come to realise that their aspirations will inevitably lead them in different directions. The motivation for their friendship relies on a genuine apprehension that there may be no escape from the stifling 50s attitude that pervades their community. This is, as they so wryly remark, a town that the Swinging Sixties passed by.
The characters work well together there's an engaging chemistry between the three relatively unknown actors. Christian Cooke plays Freddie Taylor, the boy with a job with an insurance company, hoping to leave behind the factory work of his father. Tom Hughes is excellent as the angry, rebellious Bruce, appalled by his dad's lack of spirit yet all too aware of his own grim prospects. The trio is completed by Jack Doolan as 'Snork', the hapless station announcer looking up to the flair of his closest friends. The three leads are ably supported by a cast that includes Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson, as well as some familiar faces from the Gervais and Merchant back catalogue. A prize for anyone who spots Karl Pilkington's fetching moustache
Whilst there are moments where the dialogue appears more than a little stilted, for the most part the action fizzes nicely between the three characters. He may only have a small role within the actual film, but Gervais' voice is clearly audible whenever there is an intelligent put-down or a comic observation. At times this intrudes on the authenticity of the characters, but generally the dialogue allows for a neat separation between Gervais' inclination towards biting comic scrutiny, and his more tempered capacity for gentle human interaction.
Including a jukebox medley of a soundtrack that includes 70s classics from, among others, David Bowie and T-Rex, the film has that reflective rose-tinted-spectacle feel that has become so familiar to us in American films, but is far less common with the British cinema industry. Perhaps it's the weighty budget behind this film that sets it apart from other recent British period pieces. Perhaps it's the ability of the directors to throw off their typical British scepticism and capture that sense of breezy reminiscence.
Whatever the answer, this is, for me, far more of an "American" film than movies such as 'Trainspotting', 'The Full Monty', or 'This Is England'. However, there is enough self-conscious humour and knowing sideways glances to make us realise that this is still a British film by a pair of British writers who, in 'The Office', gave us the best portrayal of British society for the new millennium. Gervais and Merchant have confirmed in this film that they are just about capable of making that dangerous leap from television to cinema. There is hopefully more to come, but 'Cemetery Junction' shows that their tongue-in-cheek blend of laughter and tears isn't likely to end with 'The Office' and 'Extras'.
James Gill Twitter @jg8608 Find more reviews at http://web.me.com/gilljames/Single_Admission
I can't say I'm disappointed in this film, because with Ricky's touch
few things can remain boring, or uninteresting. If you have seen Ricky
interviewed about this film, he'll tell you exactly what influenced him
to write and direct this film. However, unlike Invention of Lying which
was pretty original, though its influences were clear, one cannot look
at Cemetery junction without thinking of the many, many coming to age
films he or she has seen. In other words, in his other works, Ricky's
influences blend in with his originality and gave a unique product. IN
cemetery junction, however, his influences take center stage and
dominate the film, not allowing for a great deal of originality to
This is a solid work from Gervais, and as he says, it is a beautiful love-letter to Britain. It is truly disappointing that Gervais could not make something original out of it. Maybe, I am pursuing this point fiercely, but it is the main problem of the movie. When you look at Cemetery junction, you can not stop to think of endless other films that have pursued the same content. If you are not a big movie buff, or just like to see Gervais and Merchant you won't be disappointed, but you are not going to get a highly original work as The Office.
The acting is also decent at best. The problem with the acting is not the actors themselves, but is their over-dominance on the role. They are not comfortable in playing the characters; they over-react in ways that are truly unnecessary for this film. They all want to take center stage (the main male, central characters), and this need for dominating the role really undermines the true talent that they posses.
I walked out of the theater not disappointed, but not charmed either. I can best describe my immediate reaction as indifference; it was kind of like, "oh, I just watched a Gervais' film that was okay;" unlike the admiration that I had for his TV work or earlier films.
In addition, the music in the film and the soundtrack is very typical of seventies and eighties music. I wish Gervais had chosen varied songs, similar to Tarantino, in his film. He chooses instead a large variety of popular songs by Roxy Music, Springsteen etc. They are too familiar to truly leave an impression on the audience.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film isn't funny. It's just not. And without the excuse of comedy,
it's simply lame. In the September issue of The Word, Andrew Harrison,
discussing the way popular culture eats itself, describes yesterday's
cutting edge as "...impossibly tame and in fact cloyingly wholesome,
the components of Heartbeat."
And that's exactly this movie. Bland nostalgia, the trappings of kitchen sink reality and none of its truth. Twee love wins out and the lovers eventually escape the deadening boredom of their hometown existence (which isn't so bad really, so their ambitions are fuzzy and vague). Nothing we haven't seen before, and no drama to make it interesting.
Cemetery Junction is just an episode of Heartbeat - the easy view, rose-tinted version of a bygone era churned out in inoffensive weekly installments for a family audience who want reassurance rather than insight.
A few laughs would have made it bearable. Pity that Gervais and Merchant should squander their opportunities on inconsequential twaddle like this.
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