Indie import Hunky Dory, starring Minnie Driver, may have been initially conceived before the hit small screen show Glee, but it suffers mightily in comparison to the pop cultural shadow of that series, playing like a mash-up of it and a decidedly retro version of High School Musical, as filtered through the gauzy lens of underclass-artistic-exuberance that’s plagued a certain subset of comedic-leaning British offerings ever since Billy Elliot.
The 1970s-set story of an idealistic drama teacher (Driver) who endeavors to fire up her apathetic students by staging a glam rock/pop adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Hunky Dory builds to an undeniably poppy and somewhat cathartic finale, but Laurence Coriat’s screenplay is a superb example of mere dutiful execution, lacking much distinctive flourish in either character or dialogue. The movie drags on too long as well, needlessly investing in backstories that aren’t that interesting and don’t add that much to the main plot of the production. When director Marc Evans is able to concentrate on some of the actual inventive musical stagings, there’s often a rush of wind under the film’s wings. Alas, that’s not frequent enough to fully redeem matters. For the full, original review, from ShockYa, click here. (Variance Films, unrated, 110 minutes)