Directed by: Mark Herman Screenwriter: Mark Herman Produced by: Steve Abbott, Olivia Stewart Distributed by Miramax and Channel Four Films,
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald, and Pete Postelthwaite
Brass Band Music by: The Grimethorpe Colliery Band
Synopsis: When government cutbacks threaten a century-old Yorkshire mine, the brass band consisting of the miners and their families struggles to keep it together in the face of economic repression and...When government cutbacks threaten a century-old Yorkshire mine, the brass band consisting of the miners and their families struggles to keep it together in the face of economic repression and emotional turmoil.
Rotten Tomato Freshness: 78% Tania's Grade: Absolutely Frakking Must See Movie.
Brassed Off Definition:
Adj.,(Colloq)(British slang) Dejected, Fed up, upset generally pissed off (SEE: Miners, American Tax Payers)
Back in the day - that would be the late 1990's - I watched this movie with no real inclination that I would be peeking into the future of 21st century America. In all honesty, my main interest for catching this flick was Ewan McGregor. Fresh off the critically acclaimed film "Trainspotting", he was one of the hottest actors at the time. As superficial a reason as it is, the movie is anything but superficial.
As summarized above, the movie centers around the lives of musical miners facing the threat of a Colliery closure. The unionized employees are given a choice of taking a lump sum payoff or review proceedings in the hope of keeping the Colliery open. As the fate of the Colliery is tossed about, the Colliery band played on, eventually winning the British Open Brass Band Championship.
Since 1984, roughly 158 out of 170 coal mining pits have been closed in the wake of a divisive year long mining strike. The strike pitted the labor union 'NUM' against the Thatcher government. Unfortunately, the big losers in this battle were the miners and their families. In response or retaliation to this strike, nearly all coal mines in Britain were deemed nonviable and closed by the government.
Who would believe that a government would take over a private industry and dictate its existence? Who would take the lump sum payoff over a steady job? A bleak picture indeed, as the musicians return from a successful brass band semi-final to discover their union voted for the bailout and closure of their beloved Colliery. We have arrived at that point as well. The question is, where do we go from here? The movie does provide a ray of hope. Danny, the band conductor and father figure, reminds us of what we have forgotten.
A well crafted movie that was years ahead of its time. Despite my critical look at this film, I always find it inspirational. Hmmm....after all these years, Ewan McGregor is still HOT!
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Tania Gail (taniagail)
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