Hunky Dory Review
By David Kempler
A Shade Below Hunky Dory
It's 1976, in a hot summer in Wales, and Vivienne (Minnie Driver) has returned after the death of her father. She takes on the job of teaching teenagers in school. What she is teaching is how to perform as musicians/actors. Marc Evans' "Hunky Dory" is more musical than anything else.
There are some minor stories floating around, but it's mostly in the mold of "Glee" and "High School Musical" and similar type endeavors. Whenever a plot begins to take hold, a song and dance breaks out. Normally, I hate that sort of thing, but here it is the savior of a film that is going nowhere on plot alone. Even with the music, it's not exactly outstanding stuff.
Evans keeps trying to hook us with some of his character's troubles, but we never really care about a single one of them. At least I didn't. As soon as we might have a slight interest in anyone on-screen, we are either switched into another character's issues or a song flies in out of mostly nowhere.
The one thing I did appreciate was some of the choices in music, especially the focusi on David Bowie, a personal favorite of mine. The title comes from one of Mr. Bowie's albums, and the grand finale features "Life on Mars" one of Mr. Bowie's lesser known, albeit one of his most beautiful songs.
"Hunky Dory" will have a hard time finding an audience because it's difficult to discern who the target audience is. Maybe those of you who fancy "Glee" or "High School Musical" might enjoy it. Fans of 1970s music might enjoy it, but it's hard to get the feeling that gate receipts for this will be hunky dory.