My second viewing this evening of Anton Corbijn‘s Control (Weinstein Co., 10.10) resulted in even greater elation than I got from last May’s Cannes screening.
What I failed to say adequately in my previous raves is how wonderfully still and centered and untricky it is, and yet how sublimely satisfying it looks (with widescreen black-and-white photography so good it looks like monochromatic ice cream) and how authentic it all feels.
This, you’re left thinking (and even more so than Michael Winterbottom‘s 24 Hour Party People, which went for a slightly absurdist tone there and there), is how the souls of young despairing people in ’70s England truly resonated and registered, and more particularly how the Manchester scene really was or at least seemed to those who were there. (As Corbijn briefly was.)
The only thing about the film that doesn’t exactly turn me on is the gloomy story line. But I believed every line of it, every shot, every performance…all of it. It’s an absolute classic of its kind, and Sam Riley, who plays doomed Joy Division Ian Curtis, is — agree or not, believe it or not — an absolute candidate for Best Actor. Emphatically. No question. He’s dead perfect. (And I don’t mean that as a pun.)