Stand again for Jamie New (Image: John Rogers)
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is an undeniably British movie, comprising Northern grit blended with glitter, humour and a big serving of drag on the facet.
Primarily based on the true story of Jamie Campbell, topic of the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which adopted his plan to debut his drag alter ego Fifi la True at his faculty’s promenade, this in flip impressed the 2017 musical All people’s Speaking About Jamie, currently still running in the West End.
Unsurprisingly, that brings us to this somewhat-inevitable movie adaptation of the stage musical.
As a traditional British fish-out-of-water story, it already appeals to a big viewers that has lengthy embraced eccentrics and underdogs.
It’s a comparability ready to occur to say that All people’s Speaking About Jamie is that this era’s Billy Elliot. The parallels are apparent: a younger, Northern, working class lad is inspired to embrace his ambition and pursue a ‘feminine’ profession by his mum, even when others have a tough time accepting it (and in a role-reversal, the unique 2000 movie then went on to change into a West Finish hit with its musical adaptation, courtesy of Lee Corridor and Elton John).
Plus, in a real-life coincidence, Jamie Campbell grew up in Bishop Auckland, which is close to to the place Billy Elliot was set. Jamie New, nevertheless, lives on the outskirts of Sheffield.
The birthday sneakers that begin all of it (Image: John Rogers)
It’s additionally possible no coincidence that the movie appears to exist in a moderately Nineteen Eighties model of now, which is simply confirmed – following Hugo Battersby’s (Richard E. Grant) trusty VCR-powered quantity – by the social media montage forward of promenade.
Catchy music is offered by Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feeling, who delivers an excellent rating of strong musical theatre tunes with a glam, rocky edge. Earworms embrace And You Don’t Even Know It and the titular track, All people’s Speaking About Jamie.
Nevertheless, that’s to not say that there aren’t some cracking ballads too. The Wall in My Head is an early demonstration of newcomer Max Harwood’s dramatic chops because the sulky however candy Jamie, whereas Sarah Lancashire delivers a barnstorming efficiency of He’s My Boy, which comes toe-to-toe with Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! when it comes to appearing by way of track.
In information that surprises no-one, Sarah Lancashire is admittedly, actually good (Image: John Rogers)
In reality, Lancashire is simply as unbelievable as anticipated, comfortably main the fierce mum casting bracket because the supportive Margaret. You’re saved ready to listen to her sing, anticipating she’ll ship, which she completely does. Poised to interrupt your coronary heart, she sits on the kitchen desk, all suppressed angst, and wrings out her emotion by way of track.
Harwood is a gem of a discover, able to the swagger wanted for a teen with zero expertise chasing their drag dream, in addition to the vulnerability of a boy who simply needs his absentee father to be pleased with him.
Tom MacRae’s lyrics do sometimes veer barely in the direction of the easy at instances, however usually that matches into the musical narration being offered by Jamie’s teenage classmates, who show an lively refrain in the course of the larger manufacturing numbers – whether or not that’s within the classroom or inside Jamie’s head.
Richard E. Grant embraces the wigs, boobs and heels to shine as Loco Chanelle (Image: Dean Rogers)
It’s additionally not onerous to see what attracted Richard E. Grant to the function of Jamie’s mentor Hugo, aka Loco Chanelle. This yr’s greatest fairy godfather, Grant is clearly having a ball, singing with gusto (and assist from Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson) for the movie’s standout track, This Was Me. A touching however rousing observe, which delves into Hugo’s historical past and the early days of the AIDS epidemic, putting digicam angles and dollop of creativeness permit this quantity to interrupt free from the generally barely pedestrian filming selections.
Sharon Horgan has a meaty and multi-layered, however barely complicated, function as Miss Hedge, the grownup who challenges Jamie’s ambition, and maybe the closest factor to an antagonist this rose-tinted musical has, exterior of Jamie’s disinterested father and the bog-standard faculty bully. Though introduced because the ‘wrong’ argument, her viewpoint possible rings true with academics who’re sticklers for the principles.
Billy Elliot comparisons are honest (Image: John Rogers)
The finale of All people’s Speaking About Jamie is normal finish of faculty fare, smacking of Grease or Excessive College Musical, with Jamie’s last determination concerning his promenade look fairly predictable.
It’s a little twee and tidy on the finish, with decision coming fairly out of the blue, but it surely’s a feel-good, optimistic and celebratory musical – so would you need it some other manner?
And by the top, your toes, prefer it or not, are positive to be tapping alongside to the beat of Jamie New.
All people’s Speaking About Jamie is on the market on Amazon Prime Video from Friday September 17.
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