Interview: Jonny Owen talks football doc ‘Don’t Take Me Home’

  • Nerdly
In his latest interview/podcast host Stuart Wright talks with director Jonny Owen about Euro 2016 and the making of his documentary Don’t Take Me Home.

Wales haven’t qualified for a major football tournament since 1958. When the young national manager, Gary Speed, tragically took his own life in 2011 a youthful side and nation was left devastated. Qualification felt further away than ever and less important. Fast forward to 2015; spurred on by the enduring memory of the late manager Wales have qualified for Euro 2016. But how will they fare?

Don’t Take Me Home is out now on DVD and all good VOD platforms.
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Vicky McClure: ‘What makes me unhappy? A bad cup of tea’

The actor on Julie Walters, eyebrows and why she misses video shops

Born in Nottingham, Vicky McClure, 34, trained at The Television Workshop, where she was discovered by Shane Meadows. She appeared in his 1999 film A Room For Romeo Brass and won a Bafta for her role as Lol in the This Is England series. Her other work includes Line Of Duty and Broadchurch, and she is currently starring in the ITV2 comedy series Action Team. She is engaged to the actor and writer Jonny Owen.

When were you happiest?

Christmas Day in Nottingham. I am happiest when I am with all of my family, and last year Jonny and I got engaged.

Related: Sarah Millican: ‘My greatest fear? That I’ll discover the biscuit tin empty’ | Q&A

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Win Don’t Take Me Home on Blu-ray

Author: Competitions

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of the rousing feature-documentary Don’T Take Me Home, we have 2 Blu-ray copies to giveaway.

An inspiring documentary from Welsh filmmaker Jonny Owen (I Believe In Miracles) following Wales’ remarkable journey to the final stages of the 2016 European Championships.

For the last 60 years Wales have tried and failed to qualify for a major football tournament. Having gone through the grief of previous manager Gary Speed’s tragic death, heavy defeats, and positioned as a tiny country team with no pedigree, all bets were off for how the underdogs would perform.

Led by star player Gareth Bale, the team quickly became the outside favourites, dazzling millions of viewers. There’s an ancient Welsh saying, “Yma o Hyd” which translates as, “we’re still here” – a defiantly apt statement from the smallest country in the history of the game getting to a major tournaments semi finals.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Don’t Take Me Home review – inside story of Wales's Euro 2016 run

A brisk documentary follows the Welsh football team from 2012 to their incredible European Championships performance four years later

Were it not for the Premier League-winning exploits of Leicester City, the Welsh national football team’s performance in the European Championships would have unquestionably been last year’s great sporting underdog story – remarkable not only because of Wales’s minnow status in international football (this was their first tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup), but also because it came just five years after the team lost their manager Gary Speed, who took his own life. Jonny Owen’s film takes up the story as new manager Chris Coleman is put in charge in 2012 and follows it all the way through to the Euros and ultimately Wales’s semi-final defeat to eventual winners Portugal, with Coleman, the team’s star player, Gareth Bale, and some of the fans who went along for
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Don't Take Me Home trailer: documentary follows Wales's incredible Euro 2016 – video

Don’t Take Me Home tells the story of Wales’s Euro 2016 campaign in France where Chris Coleman’s side reached the last four the tournament. The documentary comes from Welsh film-maker Jonny Owen and will be released across the UK on 3 March, with limited screenings taking place on 1 March, St David’s Day

Euro 2016: Guardian writers pick their highs and lows from France Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

No Fear: The Year’S Best Movies

This is definitely the time of year when film critic types (I’m sure you know who I mean) spend an inordinate amount of time leading up to awards season—and it all leads up to awards season, don’t it?—compiling lists and trying to convince anyone who will listen that it was a shitty year at the movies for anyone who liked something other than what they saw and liked. And ‘tis the season, or at least ‘thas (?) been in the recent past, for that most beloved of academic parlor games, bemoaning the death of cinema, which, if the sackcloth-and-ashes-clad among us are to be believed, is an increasingly detached and irrelevant art form in the process of being smothered under the wet, steaming blanket of American blockbuster-it is. And it’s going all malnourished from the siphoning off of all the talent back to TV, which, as everyone knows,
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Stuart’s Top 10 films & other treats from 2015

  • Nerdly
Here’s my Top Ten films and other treats from 2015 (in no particular order):

Best Movies 1) Fury Road

After 15 minutes I turned to my wife and said I was exhausted… Thankfully I got my breath back and Fury Road refused to let up. True to the originals, Tom Hardy’s Max says very little and through Charlize Theron’s Furiosa we arguably got our first feminist action movie – or so it seemed according to the lunatic fringe of fanboy culture as they whipped themselves into a frenzy on many a blog.

2) Carol

Todd Haynes adapted Carol from Patricia Highsmith 1952 novel: The Price Of Salt. The sumptuous period style, stunning cinematic storytelling and stand out performances from Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson combine to make a film experience of a forbidden lesbian love affair – that’s akin to an Edward Hopper painting coming to life.
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I Believe in Miracles review – divertingly nostalgic

Splendid 70s footage evokes a bygone world in this account of Brian Clough’s reign at Nottingham Forest

As someone with zero interest in football, I found this genial account of Brian Clough’s trophy-winning tenure at Nottingham Forest divertingly nostalgic. Interspersing contemporary interviews with splendid 70s footage, actor-turned-director Jonny Owen evokes a poptastic world in which top-level athletes enjoyed chips, wine and a ciggie as a pre-match sharpener and training consisted of “a little fat guy” running around in a nettle patch. Split screens, bubble perms and baldness abound, buoyed up by a jukebox collection of tunes (from Heatwave to Velvet Underground), a collage of “Jap sub sinks Forest!” headlines and TV spots of Cloughie doing an uncanny impression of Michaels Sheen and Parkinson.

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I Believe in Miracles review – undemanding look at Brian Clough's resurgence

Jonny Owen’s entertaining documentary deals with the manager’s success at Nottingham Forest in the late 1970s

Related: Film review: The Damned United

The reputation of Brian Clough (pictured) in pop culture history famously got a revisionist jolt in 2006 from David Peace’s novel The Damned United, lending an unsuspected dark mythic importance to his brief, bizarrely dysfunctional tenure as Leeds United Fc manager in 1974. The cheeky loudmouth now looked troubled, irrational, even faintly sinister. It was adapted for the cinema in 2009 – in gentler and more conventional terms – starring Michael Sheen. Now Jonny Owen has made an undemanding documentary dealing with the happier era after that, about Clough’s resurgence, managing Nottingham Forest in the late 1970s: the Napoleon of football, leading a little-fancied side to glory in the old first division and the European cup. This affectionate film sets aside all the fashionably “dark” reading of Clough in
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New poster and trailer for football documentary I Believe in Miracles

A new poster and trailer have debuted for the upcoming football documentary I Believe in Miracles which tells the story of legendary manager Brian Clough’s European Cup winning Nottingham Forest team. Check them out here…

In 1975 Brian Clough had gone from being football’s most exciting young manager to being seen as impossible to work with after walking out on Derby County, leaving Brighton under a cloud and being sacked as manager of Leeds United after just 44 days. His only offer of work came from a run-down second division club called Nottingham Forest whose brief glory days in the 1950’s were seen as well behind them. It was predicted that Clough would last less than a season but in five he’d won a remarkable two European Cups consecutively and produced one of the greatest domestic football teams in the game’s history.

Written, directed and produced by Jonny Owen
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Showcase to distribute Brian Clough documentary

  • ScreenDaily
Showcase to distribute Brian Clough documentary
Film about legendary football manager to premiere at UK football ground before going nationwide.

A new film about football manager Brian Clough’s glory years at Nottingham Forest is to be distributed across the UK by Showcase Cinemas, following its world premiere at the club’s City Ground next month.

I Believe In Miracles tells the story of the five-year period in the 1970s when Clough took Nottingham Forest from a run-down second division club to two European Cups, producing one of the best domestic football teams in the history of the game.

It includes interviews with all of the 1979 European Cup winners involved the families of Clough and his managerial partner Peter Taylor.

I Believe In Miracles was written and directed by Jonny Owen, who also produced alongside Baby Cow Productions (Philomena) and Spool Films/Post.

The documentary will receive its world premiere at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on Oct 11 before previews in UK cinemas
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Movie Review – Svengali (2013)


Directed by John Hardwick

Starring Jonny Owen, Vicky McClure, Martin Freeman


Welsh dreamer Dixie travels to London to manage the band of his dreams.

Blind optimism and painfully positive enthusiasm, There is something to be said for always looking on the bright side of life, oblivious to the shackles that most of us are victims of throughout our everyday adventures.

Two such examples rendered seemingly effortlessly here are Dixie (Jonny Owen) and Shell (Vicky McClure). A lovely and loving young couple from the depths of Wales, that move to London in pursuit of Dixie’s dream; to become the manager of one of the best new bands in the country. A band he saw on the internet and thought they were ‘brilliant’. So they travel to meet them, to try and convince them to let Dixie manage them, offering them a gentlemens’ agreement. A deal forged with a beer and a handshake.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

There’s nothing as rewarding as being able to say I did it

The writer and star of Svengali, Jonny Owen, is amazed any new British films get made at all.

I don’t know why film is so sexy, but it is. It’s what every actor or script writer aspires to. Oh, they may talk about TV and theatre but inside we know it’s up there on the big screen where we want our stories to be. Much like a band loves to hear themselves on vinyl or a novelist wants to see their work bound in beautiful book, it’s seen as the ultimate triumph; a statement of how much you believed.

Svengali began as five minute online viral videos.
See full article at Pure Movies »

Young cast announced for new E4 murder mystery series Glue

  • ScreenTerrier
Shooting has begun this week in Berkshire on Glue, a brand new original series created and written by BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne (This is England, Skins, The Fades) for E4.

E4 has brought together some of Britain’s brightest young talent from film, TV, stage and music to star in the new series including:

Yasmin Paige, star of critically-acclaimed feature Submarine;

Jessie Cave, best known as Lavender Brown in Harry Potter;

Waterloo Road and The Sarah Jane Adventures actor Tommy Lawrence Knight;

Faye Marsay, who stole Howard’s heart as new housemate Candice in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat;

The young cast also features:

Jordan Stephens, platinum-selling hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, making his acting debut:

Callum Turner who recently starred opposite Helen McCrory in ITV drama Leaving;

Charlotte Spencer last seen as Carly Kirk in BBC Two’s Line of Duty;

Tommy McDonnell, currently in cinemas in acclaimed British prison
See full article at ScreenTerrier »

Waterloo Road, Rizzle Kicks stars for new E4 drama Glue

E4 has announced a cast of rising stars for its new drama Glue.

Tommy Lawrence Knight and Yasmin Paige - former co-stars on The Sarah Jane Adventures - will reunite for the new series from BAFTA winner Jack Thorne (This is England, Skins, The Fades).

Waterloo Road actor Knight and Submarine star Paige will be joined by Jordan Stephens - one half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks - and Fresh Meat actress Faye Marsay.

Harry Potter's Jessie Cave, Starred Up actor Tommy McDonnell, New Worlds star Billy Howie, Frankenstein's Callum Turner and Charlotte Spencer - Carly Kirk in BBC Two's Line of Duty - complete the cast.

Kierston Wareing (EastEnders), Steve Oram (Sightseers), Kerry Fox (The Crimson Field) and Jonny Owen (Shameless) will join the young cast.

Glue will explore the impact that the discovery of a local boy's body has on a small English village, as secrets
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Svengali review – clunky British music biz comedy

A cameo-packed tale of a music fan who dreams of being a rock manager is good-natured but hardly revolutionary

In this lo-fi music-biz comedy, which began life as an online series, scriptwriter Jonny Owen plays a naive music fan who dreams of being a rock manager. With sparky prestige support (Martin Freeman, Maxine Peake, Matt Berry) and cameos from Alan McGee and Carl Barât, Svengali ought to be sharper, but this good-natured, clunky labour of love feels about as fresh as a 2002 copy of the NME. It's curiously timeless, though, and with its Soho locations, could almost have been made in the British pop boom of the late 50s – like Expresso Bongo for Libertines nostalgists.

Rating: 1/5

ComedyJonathan Romney © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
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Starred Up, Labor Day, Yves Saint Laurent: this week's new films

Starred Up | Labor Day | Yves Saint Laurent | Gbf | The Robber | The Machine | Salvo | The Unknown Known | A Long Way Down

Starred Up (18)

(David Mackenzie, 2013, UK) Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend. 106 mins

We've seen enough prison movies to know the drill, but this is closer to A Prophet than The Great Escape – a bracing mix of brutal thriller, institutional critique and complex character drama. Conviction is key, both in the day-to-day details and the natural performances, particularly O'Connell – a young offender violent enough to be housed with the grown-ups, including his own father. It feels like things could kick off with every scene.

Labor Day (12A)

(Jason Reitman, 2013, Us) Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith. 111 mins

The Juno director tries nuanced domestic drama – and it doesn't really suit him. Erotic tremors are a given when Brolin's escaped convict shacks up with Winslet's lonely single mum, but you'll need to park your disbelief.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The HeyUGuys Interview: Jonny Owen and Vicky McClure on Svengali

The prospect of sitting down in a room full of people to interview two actors can be daunting enough, but when the pair in question are a genuine item, it becomes a relatively intimidating ordeal. However any such apprehensions disappeared in an instance, as the intrinsic chemistry and infectious optimism shared between Jonny Owen and Vicky McClure in their latest endeavour, Svengali, is certainly one that has extended to real life.

The pair first met on the set of the British comedy, and they discuss their coming together, and how it impacted upon the shoot. McClure, one of Britain’s finest actresses, also discusses the forthcoming addition to the This is England television series, while writer and star Owen discusses exactly what is in his plastic bag, which his character Dixie carries around with him at all times in this charming comedy production.

Svengali is out in cinemas now.

See full article at HeyUGuys »

Svengali review – the enthusiasm wears off

This movie about the business of rock music gets stuck in mediocre sitcom territory

This music-biz romp – concerning a Welsh chancer's attempts to push Libertines-like ladrockers the Premature Congratulations around Soho – hopes bushy-tailed enthusiasm can usher us past a shortfall of jokes, and displays an abiding cluelessness about developing its source (writer-star Jonny Owen's well-regarded web series) beyond middling sitcom territory. Cameos from TV faces and a summery visual sheen provide further distractions from the script's fundamental issues of cred: you just don't believe Owen's hapless protagonist would get as far as he does. Hard to dislike entirely, but that initial pep wears off – and it's sad that any project should now be wasting Vicky McClure in the tagalong girlfriend role.

Rating: 2/5

DramaMike McCahill © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More
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Svengali Review

Director: John Hardwick.

Starring: Jonny Owen, Vicky McClure, Martin Freeman, Michael Socha, Matt Berry, Natasha O’Keeffe.

Certificate: 15.

Running Time: 93 minutes.

Synopsis: Dixie (Jonny Owen) dreams of making it big in the music industry, but he’s stuck in a small Welsh village delivering mail. After many hours scouring YouTube for potential artists, he leaves for London town to pursue his vision of being a band manager, with fiancée Michelle (Vicky McClure) and their wedding fund in tow.

They don’t come much more British than this. Svengali – directed by John Hardwick, but the brainchild of the ever-persistent Jonny Owen who also stars as loveable scamp, Dixie – is heartwarming, funny and earnest. But it’s also self-critical, aware and altogether timeless.

Dixie is a Welsh postman-cum-music fanatic looking to make his big break in the capital, managing a band he’s found on YouTube called ‘The Premature Congratulations’. While the band members are young,
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