Brassed Off Film Review


Grimley Colliery has been a working mine for over 100 years and since it began there has always been a Brass Band of the same name. The miners are facing hardship as there are talks of the mine being closed. The workers are not happy about it and try to get the mine kept open. If the mine was to close it would mean disaster for the small town and the families who work and live there.

The band is run by Danny, he lives for it now he has retired from the mine, his friends and family all form part of it and he is determined to keep the men’s spirits up and get them to continue playing. A few of the men are going to quit the band as their wives have asked them to but when they are about to tell Danny they have their minds changed when a new recruit comes to join. Gloria is the daughter of a former band member and she is welcomed with open arms but she is hiding something from the men.

With the mine facing closure can Danny keep spirits up and get the band to the competitions and have a win and will the mine be closed or not?

I am not sure why I have never watched this film before but I am so glad I finally did. The film is typically British and it was great to see so many great British actors in it. I was even happier when I discovered that it was not a gangster film or about drugs and violence despite the fact that these all seem to be what the British made films usually are. I found the storyline to be excellent and so true, the way we got to see just how hard people lives were when the mines were all being closed and just how hard it hit the families was heart wrenching at times and there were a few moments when I was genuinely moved to tears from the struggles and the way the actors managed to portray the emotions and feelings of the time.

The cast for this film was excellent, the lead role n my eyes was Danny, he was played by the late great Pete Postlethwaite, he was a good strong character and he was a joy to watch. He showed determination and strength and seemed so natural in the role. He worked well with on screen son, Phil and there was a genuine chemistry between the pair. Phil was played by Stephen Tomkinson and he was also very good. I could not get over how young he looked in the role but he still made the role his own and very believable. He faced hardship and struggles in the story and he managed to make the way he dealt with them emotional and powerful. Ewan McGregor also starred in the film and I did like his character despite the fact he did sometime come across as very immature, he bought a slightly lighter element to the storyline and I enjoyed his performance. He had a good relationship with the role of Gloria, played by Anna Fitzgerald and they seemed very natural together.

Other good roles came from actors, Jim Carter, Philip Jackson, Melanie Hill, Sue Johnson and Mary Hillary, there was a good mix of characters and I loved how certain ones managed to give us a few good laughs and bring some much needed light relief from the main story.

At the start of the film I did have a hard time trying to date it, the appearance of the characters and the clothes which they wore gave this an 80’s feel but then other things would appear and it made it seem later, I did look it up and found that the film was made in the 90’s and the real mine closed in the early 90’s so therefore I am presuming that the film was set in the early 90’s, I would have liked to have seen slightly more obvious factors to have made the dating easier. I did think it was nice to see the men both in and out of work and the way the working side of he film was shown was an eye opener to me as I did not know how hard the job actually was. It made the film seem even more real in my eyes and helped me to get a better understanding of the men.

I did enjoy the music to this film and there is most definitely a big brass band feel to it all, the band were helped by a real band when playing and performing and I thought they all sounded great and the music which they chose to play was wonderful to listen to. We did have a few other tracks but the overall main theme was the brass band one. There were no real special effects in the film and I don’t think any were needed, this was a down to earth feel to the film and I loved how basic and true to life it was.

This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The DVD can be bought for just a few pounds now on line. The running time of the film is 107 minutes and the rate is a 15. I do agree with the rate as there is a lot of swearing.

I am more than happy to give this film the full 5 stars, it is dated but it is still enjoyable and believable to watch, the acting is superb and so too is the music. This is definitely a great British film full of our home grown talent.