Kicking off the Director's Fortnight was Anton Corbijn's eagerly awaited biopic of Joy Division's Ian Curtis, Control. The first reviews are in and it's gone down a storm.
"Somber, sad and compelling, Ian Curtis biopic Control, about Blighty '80s post-punk band Joy Division's lead singer, is a riveting, visually arresting portrait of a soul in torment," writes Variety's Russell Edwards. "Central perf by Sam Riley is a winner, surrounded by a strong ensemble of thesps. First feature helming bow by photographer Anton Corbijn manages to present working-class Northern England in a wide range of appealing grays that make the description "black-and-white film" inadequate. Widely anticipated by the band's legion of fans, pic is assured a warm welcome and a successful worldwide tour."
The Times' Stephen Dalton agrees: "Overall, Control treats Curtis and his legacy with respect but not stifling reverence. Corbijn’s economic style is rooted in the European auteur tradition, favouring cool understatement over the ripe melodrama seen in most rock biopics. Which may limit his film’s appeal in America and elsewhere, but it makes for a handsome and lyrical drama."
While Xan Brooks called The Guardian called it: "quite superb; a sort of kitchen-sink, social-realist rock-opera, topped off with an eerily good performance from the previously unknown Sam Riley as Ian Curtis."