Musicians have long proven to be a well of inspiration for film makers, and so it proves again with director Anton Corbjn’s telling of the story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division, Control.
Based on the book of the same name, the first of Control's many successes is to make prior knowledge of the subject matter unnecessary. And while music is an important part of the film, the movie ultimately focuses in on the relationship between Curtis and his wife, Deborah. It’s a moving and emotional rollercoaster, and one realised with exceptional skill and grace by Sam Riley and the ever-astonishing Samantha Morton in the lead acting roles. The former is someone very much to watch, the latter is surely long overdue an Oscar.
Credit too must go to director Corbjn, though, who builds up Control with diligence and discipline. He shapes a musical biopic that distinguishes itself from its numerous contemporaries, and while it perhaps doesn’t spend enough time with the Joy Division side of the story, it’s a film that’s otherwise hard to fault.
Control, ultimately, not only managed to sidestep many of the contrivances of the genre, but it also offers a raw, electric and emotional experience, and proved to be one of 2007’s finest films. Don’t miss it. --Jon Foster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.