Hear My Song

(Peter Chelsom, UK/USA, 1991)


Hear My Song is an appalling British film which inexplicably garnered a measure of arthouse cinema success.

It is based on the undeniably curious true story of tenor Josef Locke (Ned Beatty) and his return to the British stage after self-imposed exile in Ireland to avoid tax charges.

Unfortunately, the plot concentrates on the hideous character of Micky (co-writer Adrian Dunbar), a supposedly loveable larrikin entrepreneur who is meant to become twice as loveable once he squares up to honour and true love.

Everything in the film is shockingly puffed up, from the thunder of working-class jollity to the sublime poetry of the Irish shores.

Director Peter Chelsom, with his arty black and white cinematography, hokey editing and painfully contrived stylistic flourishes, tries hard to be Orson Welles – but doesn’t even manage to be Ken Russell.

MORE Chelsom: The Mighty

© Adrian Martin September 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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