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Hunky Dory (2011)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 22 March 2013 (USA)
1:56 | Trailer

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In the heat of the summer of 1976, drama teacher Vivienne fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end-of-term version of Shakespeare's The Tempest.


Marc Evans


Laurence Coriat (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Minnie Driver ... Vivienne Mae
Kristian Gwilliam Kristian Gwilliam ... Hoople
Aneurin Barnard ... Davey
Tom Rhys Harries ... Evan (as Tom Harries)
Adam Byard ... Lewis
Danielle Branch ... Stella
Kimberley Nixon ... Vicki
Kayleigh Bennett ... Dena
Darren Evans ... Kenny
Dafydd Llyr-Thomas Dafydd Llyr-Thomas ... Syd / Member, Cwmtawe Community School Choir
Robert Pugh ... Headmaster (as Bob Pugh)
Jodi Davis Jodi Davis ... Mandy (as Jodie Davis)
Ryan Hacker Ryan Hacker ... Daz
Lewis Coster Lewis Coster ... Davy's Friend
Sam Shervill Sam Shervill ... Davy's Friend


In the heat of the summer of 1976, keen drama teacher Vivienne fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end of year music version of Shakespeare's The Tempest. To engage her students, she uses hits of the time, which will be performed by a fresh young cast led by rising star Aneurin Barnard. Written by Websurfer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

22 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Musical de Verão See more »

Filming Locations:

Wales, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,695, 29 March 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,041, 5 May 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Minnie Driver's father was from Swansea, Wales. See more »


The song Livin' Thing (written by Jeff Lynne, performed by ELO), did not chart in the UK until 13 Nov 1976 and would not have been known during the Summer of 76. See more »


Dena: Am I really that ugly, then?
Evan: No.
Dena: Well, what is it then?
[long pause]
Evan: I'm not sure it's... girls I like.
Dena: What? You're... you're a poof?
Evan: [stammers] I just need some time to work it out.
Dena: You've already worked it out, I reckon.
Evan: I'm not ashamed of it.
Dena: I always knew you were different. That's why I liked you, I suppose. Not like the other twats in this school. So, have you told anyone else?
See more »

Crazy Credits

All The Car Booters of South Wales (you know who you are) See more »


References The Incredible Hulk (1978) See more »


The Man Who Sold The World
Written by David Bowie
Performed by Tom Rhys Harries and The Hunky Dory Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Important Historical Moment Experienced Through Soundtrack, Some Inclusion Questions
15 November 2017 | by rmarb5-1See all my reviews

Very astute of the submitter in the Character section of the Goofs to remind us that ELO's "Livin' Thing" was not known until later in 1976 as it was released in November along with parent album "A New World Record". "Hunky Dory" is a creature of the late spring of that year.

Nonetheless, the choice of music in this movie, as a remark, is simply outstanding. It finely captures that moment when the singer songwriter sound of the early 70s was giving way to late glam and early new wave sensibilities (a la Ferry, Bowie, Lee, Drake, Lynne). In fact, a book has been written ("Hollywood Film 1963-1976: Years of Revolution and Reaction") that pinpoints 1976 as the pivot year when the cultural reign of the 60s and early 70s ended.

As a disclaimer, I don't know what music was being played on the BBC in pre-Thatcher Wales; would she actually have been seen on BBC nightly television in 1976, three years ahead of her ascendancy, as she does in the film? But I do wonder about other culturally significant music of 1976 that might have been overlooked.

As a leading example, the advent of Queen's "A Night of the Opera," generally acclaimed the Sgt. Peppers of the 70s, plops squarely in May of 1976 when "You're My Best Friend" was picking up steam as the followup single to enormous "Bohemian Rhapsody," and the Elizabethan "39" was starting to haunt the airwaves. Irish heavy rockers Thin Lizzy sprang from regional jail at that moment and John Miles, whose title cut,"Stranger in the City," was a great, if passing, anthem to weary youth in Britain, peaking around April 1976.

Genesis' "Trick of the Tale" was a breakout commercial LP from 1976, loaded with snappy art-rock tracks, bespeaking a sense of melancholy associated with life change in English youth, though this might have been more suited to highbrow Charterhouse and Ellesmere, the latter featured as bedrock in 1978's Richard Burton vehicle, "Absolution".

The Rolling Stones released "Black and Blue" in April 1976 carrying a couple of textured, sentimental songs in single "Fool to Cry" and sadly reflective "Memory Motel," both all over the radio then. Too American sounding?

In the obverse, I question whether Ontario's Rush had really arrived in Wales at that point to the extent that the schoolboys could play, chord for chord, with no charts, a good bit of "Passage to Bangkok" on the brand new "2112" album. If you need a guitar-heavy AOR entry, why not England's Foghat? "Fool for the City" was sitting right there on album playlists in May of 1976.

Finally, 1976, of course, was the year of Peter Frampton, I am imagining the brilliant live versions of "I Wanna Go to the Sun" or "All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)" as fitting period citations of prep yearning for flight. I won't mention anything about "Born to Run," the sensation of that stateside season, released several months prior to May of 76, as Middle Atlantic bravado would not sync with "Hunky Dory's" more woozy, Welsh bard effect. Nor would a recent UK platinum smash by The Three Degrees and its spawning movement, (gasp) disco, whose 1975 afterbirth, populated the times.

As a PostScript, I loved the choices of both "Strange Magic" and "One Summer's Dream," both underrated ELO dreamers. I can't help wanting more ELO from the period (understanding there is only room for two in this multi-artist effort) as their current "Face the Music" sported heady standards like "Nightrider" and "Waterfall"; and if we look back just several months earlier, the "El Dorado" album's ultimate orchestral Beatles paean, "Can't Get it Out of My Head".

We have only one film here, and "Hunky Dory" made its choices. My curiosity aside, they are fine decisions.

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