Velvet Goldmine is an elusive film in many ways, partly because of the layers that Haynes has included in the structure.... there`s a reference at the beginning of the film to Oscar Wilde, we see Arthur Stuart as an insecure, inhibited young man, inheriting Wilde`s yearning for the flamboyant, we understand Arthur`s need to connect with Slade. And yet it seems that many of the events are decoys to a true understanding of what it`s all about. What is unmistakable is the rejoicing and complete sympathy for young people`s love of the other, their need to be different. But there`s a sadness at the heart of the film, and whether it`s because glam rock went or because it had to go, I`m not sure. What is certain about the film is Toni Collette`s terrific performance as Mandy - she manages to be credible as the young superficial enthusiast of the seventies and as the more mature, more resigned - there`s that word again - woman of the eighties. Jonathan Rhys Meyers captures an elusive Bowie-like quality in his role and Ewan McGregor, with a slightly wobbly American accent combines Lou Reed and Iggy Pop with a touch of Kurt Cobain. There`s no doubting Todd Haynes abilities as a filmmaker and yet Velvet Goldmine isn`t quite the film you feel it could have been had it remained more focussed on the story it had to tell.
AIRED ON 1 August 2013
EXPIRES ON 1 August 2024