leave me on my own"
As one of the founders of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones
(Gregory) was consumed by the rock and roll life style of the late 1960s.
Women, drugs and drink mixed together with the excesses of fame made Brian
one of the most recognised people in Britain but after number convictions
he wasn't allowed to tour in the US with the rest of the band. After losing
the love of his life to best friend Keith Richards (Whishaw), he retreats
to his newly purchased house but after less than eight months in the house
he was found dead in his swimming pool at the age of twenty seven.
The life of a music superstar in the late 1960s was one of
excess and the life and early death of Brian Jones might prove this but
you don't know the whole story.
Co-founder of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones was found dead
in his swimming pool in 1969. With the police and the world thinking that
it was a cocktail of drink and drugs that led to his untimely death, Jones
was just another in the list of music stars that lost their lives to excesses
of the age. 'Stoned' tells a different story however.
Acclaimed British producer Stephen Woolley steps behind the
camera for the first time to bring the story to the silver screen. Now stranger
to the biopic after success with 'Backbeat', 'Michael Collins' and 'Scandal'
as a producer, Woolley takes this experience and knowledge to bring the
story of the forgotten Rolling Stone to the silver screen.
Opening with Brian found dead in the pool by girlfriend Anna,
friend Janet and handyman and close friend Frank, then flashes back to various
times throughout his life. As well as seeing the build up to his death over
the last three months of his life, Woolley intermixes further flashbacks
that reveal the origins of the Rolling Stones, his relationship with the
love of his life Anita Pallenberg, his struggle with alcohol and drugs and
how he became a liability to the band. This could have easily led to a confused
plot but Woolley and his filmmaking team handle it with ease.
Stephen Woolley has gathered together an impressive cast to
bring the story to the silver screen. Leading the line is a breakout performance
for Leo Gregory. A regular on British television, Gregory has made the transition
to the big screen with ease and it has given him the chance to shine. He
really gets under the skin of Brian Jones, capturing his demons as well
as his look to produce a performance that will get him noticed. David Morrissey
is also making a name for himself on the big screen after been a star on
TV. He is suitable sleazy as promoter Tom, who is making as much as he can
from the fame of the Rolling Stones. The female support is also very good.
Monet Mazur is stunningly beautiful as the love of Brian's life Anita Pallenberg.
Swedish actress Tuva Novotny is very good as Brian's last girlfriend Anna
Wohlin and Amelia Warner is also good as Janet. It is the always-brilliant
Paddy Considine that steals the show however. As builder Frank Thorogood,
he is a working class man thrown into the Rock and Roll world and becomes
totally consumed by it as he becomes friends with Brian. This is a role
that Considine can really get his teeth into as the character's insecurity
and need to belong.
Director Stephen Woolley and his cast and crew have done a
superb job with the telling of Brian Jones' story. Posing many questions
and offering insights into the death of the former Rolling Stones, this
is a film that fans will revel in and everyone else will find fascinating.
The only downside is the real lack of Rolling Stones track with only three
been used but this aside the movie does capture the time superbly and succeed
in its task of getting to know who Brian Jones was.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well.
Feature Commentary audio with director Stephen Woolley
The prolific British producer turned director provides an interesting
and passionate commentary for his Brian Jones' story. He talks about the
amount of research they did for the film, talking to witnesses from the
time and been the only one to get Janet's account of what happened on
that fateful day. He also talks about why he stepped behind the camera
and his passion for the Rolling Stones. This is a good commentary from
a respected filmmaker who offers an insight into low budget movie making.
Making of Featurette (35.38 mins)
Director/producer Stephen Woolley, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert
Wade, author Terry Rawlings, production designer John Beard, producer
Finola Dwyer, director of photography John Mathieson, hair and makeup
supervisor Lizzi Yanni Georgiou, composer David Arnold and stars Leo Gregory,
Paddy Considine, Monet Mazur, Tuva Novotny, Ben Whishaw and Luke de Woolfson
talk about Brian Jones' story. With actual shots of the tragic star and
referencing the books 'Paint it Black: The Murder of Brian Jones' and
'Who killed Christopher Robin', the group talks about the characters of
the film and the actors that play them, explain what they brought to the
Deleted Scenes (18.02 mins)
With optional commentary by director Stephen Woolley and editor Sam Shead,
these twelve deleted or extended scenes show you more of early Brian,
post Anita, Frank and Anna, Brian writing, other girls in his life, more
of Morocco and more at the pool.
Theatrical Trailer (1.25 mins)
Watch the trailer that preceded the film's release.
For a low budget British movie, the bonus features are very good. With
an excellent commentary, an informative featurette and deleted scenes,
fans of the film should be very pleased with this DVD release.
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