D: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara
R: Anton Corbijn
Release: 17 May 2007 at the Cannes Film Festival
Durată: 2h 02 min
Gen: Biography, Drama
Sam Riley was born on the same year that Ian Curtis, the lead-singer of British punk band Joy Division, committed suicide. In 2007, he was chosen to star as Curtis in the biographical film Control. Riley’s performance was worthy of the British Independent Film Award for “Most Promising Newcomer” and a BAFTA “Rising Star” nomination.
Ian Curtis was “an ordinary bloke just like you or me”, as fellow band member, Stephen Morris, recalls. In spite of being just “ordinary”, he read good books, he liked good music and he wrote poetry. He got married at a very young age, he was 19 and Deborah Woodruff was 18. He was an epileptic. They had a daughter, Natalie, who was only one when her father committed suicide.
This story is really kind of boring, really. Enter Joy Division. Curtis simply transformed himself on stage, he became not someone, but something else. He was the music. This is what the director tried to bring out.
From being a simple boy who, sometimes, got into his neighbors’ houses and stole medicine for the sake of experimenting with drugs, Ian developed into this introvert man, who couldn’t even talk to his own wife about his problems and his disease. Sam Riley has that lost look that really makes you want to understand this young man who couldn’t understand himself. He didn’t even know what he wanted: by day, telling his wife, Debbie (Samantha Morton), that he still loved her and didn’t want their marriage to brake; by night, being in love with Annik Honoré, a belgian journalist (Alexandra Maria Lara). My personal opinion is that he had split personalities: he fell in love with Annik because she dazzled him with his independence, but also with Debbie because she was his, “irretrievably”. He didn’t want to lose any of them.
Besides Sam Riley, Samantha Morton gives a very good performance as his wife, being very successful at restoring the pain and desesperation of the cheated wife. I can’t even imagine what she felt when she found her beloved husband dead in their house.
For the ones that dig this kind of film, it reminded me, especially in the end, of What We Do Is Secret and, of course, of Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.
Control won Best British Independent Film at the British Independent Film Awards and another three awards at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.