Director: Lisa Barros D’Sa
Script: Colin Carberry, Glen Patterson
Producers: Bruno Charlesworth, Andrew Eaton, David Holmes, Chris Martin
Cast: Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker, Dylan Moran, Mark Ryder, Killian Scott, Adrian Dunbar, Kerr Logan
UK/Ireland 140mins Biopic
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I love this film. It’s all very well as a reviewer sitting po-faced thinking up embroidered sentences, but sometimes… you know? Already winning awards for script, Best Film and Costume at Dinard, Galway and the Irish Film & TV Awards, this is one to savour. Brim-full of life energy, Good Vibrations is the biopic of Terri Hooley, gleefully charting his childhood through the Sixties and Seventies in a world riven with hatred, mistrust and death.
For anyone growing up in Ulster during the Seventies, Good Vibrations is legendary. A record shop-turned label for young Punk kids surviving the battleground, that was living in the Troubles of Northern Ireland, where everything was shot to shit and prospects were sub zero but for the vision and grace of one Terri Hooley, a local man who decided one day to set up a record shop in the last bit of road that wasn’t a bomb crater and went on to launch the careers of a generation of Irish Punk bands.
Good Vibrations is a film that was long in the gestating; about 13 years. One might call a genuine ‘passion project’, with a pilot shot originally to raise money for the full feature. One can only imagine the journey the filmmakers went through to convince the financiers to stump up the cash. But thank the Protestant and Catholic Gods that they eventually did.
Joining a small but growing canon of brilliant Punk Movies, alongside Sid & Nancy, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and The Punk Syndrome, Vibrations is a great script, properly acted, with a superb central performance by Richard Dormer as Hooley, exquisitely shot and effervescent with spirit. In edit and direction, it’s quite simply a joyful, life-affirming film, rather as Searching For Sugarman is; a bright, brave, resilient bloom flowering in the darkest of times and a testament to the human spirit.
As the great Joe Strummer of The Clash is quoted:
“When punk rock ruled over Ulster, nobody ever had more excitement and fun. Between the bombings and the shootings, the religious hatred and the settling of old scores, punk gave everybody a chance to live for one glorious moment.”
Get maximum value for every punt you spend on a cinema ticket: go see this most excellent of fillums. A film full of heart about a man who is all heart. AT