SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL (Tribeca/eOne, 2010) D: Mat Whitecross, w/ Andy Serkis, Bill Milner. Rating: NNNN DVD package: NNN Rating: NNNN
This is not your standard pop star biopic. It bends facts and chronology at will to give an impression of the creative and chaotic spirit of proto-punk rocker Ian Dury (Andy Serkis).
The movie loosely covers the time between the 1975 formation of the Blockheads and the scandal of the 1981 song Spasticus Autisticus. The focus is on Dury’s relationships with wife Betty, girlfriend Denise and son, Baxter, who hates and adores him. Flashbacks cover childhood polio and Dury’s relationship with his own father.
Whether he’s being charming or wretched, Serkis delivers a 100-watt performance that perfectly matches the cheery, jagged visuals.
Some of that visual style is a response to on-set disasters. When they’re not moaning about those, Serkis, director Mat Whitecross, writer Paul Viragh and producer Damian Jones provide a good discussion of Dury and the people in his life.
EXTRAS Commentary, interviews. Widescreen. English audio. No subtitles.