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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> October 1998 >> Brassed Off

Brassed Off

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
October 1998
IMDB Name:
Brassed Off (1996)
Mark Herman
comedy, romance
MPAA Rating:
R for language.

Lies on the Cover

Cross a classic sports-underdog story line with a mass-layoffs drama, and you get Brassed Off. Read the video cover, and you'll get no such idea. What should be a light romantic comedy is made really droopy by the heavy-handed political statements.

Nice Pathos!

It'd almost be worth wearing a hat to be able to take it off to salute some of the acting. I was surprised at how moved I was by Pete Postlethwaite and Stephen Tompkinson as a father and son who are torn in different directions. That's not to say that I enjoyed watching Tompkinson as an out-of-control clown wrecking a birthday party, but at least he does it with conviction.

The Music

I played in a brass band for six years, and it's definitely an exciting musical form. The repertoire's serious pieces usually still have silver edges on them to keep the audience happy. Some of the transcriptions of the classics pick up some extra easy-listening touches like kit drums. I have to admit, they got that just right. Nobody but a brass band (and maybe Miles Davis) would take Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez (affectionately referred to as "Orange Juice" in the movie) and add cheesy drums to it. That said, the performances by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band are delightful, and the soundtrack is superb.

Other Opinions

Copyright 1998-2000 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.