Director: Jason Frankel
Stars: James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Julie Waters, Colm Meaney, Mackenzie Crook
This is the true story of Paul Potts (Corden), a shy manager of a mobile phone shop who was bullied when he was younger. Lacking in confidence he’s always dreamed of singing opera but after suffering setbacks he resigns himself to giving up on his dreams. That’s until he notices an advertisement for Britain’s Got Talent, but he has to struggle to overcome his nerves, which have so far let him down.
Despite living in Britain I don’t watch Britain’s Got Talent and the whole Paul Potts phenomenon passed me by but I actually found this movie to be really good. It’s not got the high drama that makes a lot of other biopics work but it has a lot of heart and that comes across in Corden’s performance especially. He perfectly conveys the earnestness of Potts and even when he’s overcome by anxiety we’re not annoyed, we’re rooting for him. The rest of the cast was good as well, as a Trekkie it’s always nice to see Colm Meaney in films, even if here he was very gruff and unlikable for most of the movie. Roach was a strong support and I bought the authenticity of their relationship. Even as it took its twists and turns I felt that she was believable as the woman who believed in him and supported him.
It also had a bit of glamour with a shift in scenery from Port Talbot to Venice. I liked this portion of the film a lot as it showed him trying to adjust, and there are tragic moments as his own lack of self-belief brings him down.
Britain’s Got Talent and X-Factor get a lot of criticism over here. I don’t watch them but I appreciate that they do offer these chances to people who otherwise wouldn’t have made it. It’s always sad to see talent go wasted and it’s refreshing to see a genuinely nice person overcome his flaws to take his chance and make it. At it’s core One Chance is a basic rags to riches story, but the sincerity is such that you care about the characters. I also find that opera music makes my skin tingle so I enjoyed that as well.
The one criticism I have is that by the time they get to Britain’s Got Talent the film is almost over, and the ending feels a little rushed, although it’s still cathartic. Really enjoyed this one and I would recommend it, good humour and heart.