Kids today may not remember who Ian Dury was, but like many British music legends, he's something of a national treasure over in the UK. And he's got a great-looking new biopic titled "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," directed by Mat Whitecross ("The Road to Guantanamo"), which opens across the pond this weekend.
It stars Andy Serkis, who you should definitely know as the actor behind Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and King Kong in Peter Jackson's remake, as well as Ray Winstone ("Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"), Olivia Williams ("Rushmore"), Toby Jones ("Frost/Nixon") and Naomie Harris and Mackenzie Crook (both of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy).
Our friends over at The Playlist take a look at some stills and a trailer for the film today, and I have to agree that I wish Dury was popular enough in America to get this film distribution in the States. Unfortunately, as The Playlist points out, the British make a lot of biopics about their music legends and few garner enough interest over here. The brilliant film "Control" barely played in U.S. theaters, and even a movie about The Rolling Stones, "Stoned," had trouble crossing the Atlantic (of course, that film wasn't nearly as well-regarded).
Dury, who died from cancer in 2000, overcame -- but was crippled by -- polio at a young age to become one of the most important singers and lyricists of the British punk and new wave movements as head of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Their eclectic yet catchy hit singles included "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" and "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick." Dury also dabbled in acting, appearing in the films "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover," "Judge Dredd," "The Crow: City of Angels" and Roman Polanski's "Pirates."
If you're at all familiar with Dury, you'd have to agree that Serkis looks perfect in the part. And -- not that it could have been too difficult -- he seems to have the gravelly voice down, too (at least, I'm assuming he did his own singing). The actor has been receiving raves for his performance and was even nominated for a British Independent Film Award.
It would be nice if this could be the movie that exposed his talent above performance capture work for Peter Jackson (not that he's not incredible as Gollum). Also, I'd love it if "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" could expose a new generation to the Blockheads' music. So check out the trailer and let us know if you'd like to see the movie come to America.
Does "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" look good, regardless of your familiarity with Ian Dury? Do you hope Andy Serkis can rise above his altered appearances in Peter Jackson films?