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2007-10-20 - 9:48 a.m.

It's interesting that two of the best music bio-pics (I was going to say "in the past ten years," but there are so few excellent ones that I'm replacing that, cautiously, with "of all eternity") have covered the same territory--Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People and Anton Corbijn's Control (which I keep mistakenly referring to as "Closer.").

While 24HPP was a rollicking, funny, and occasionally touching film, Control is grey and sad and understated, and really artfully done.

It seems thoroughly authentic--it wouldn't have you think, as a Hollywood movie might, that 1977 Manchester was crawling with people in mohawks and bondage gear. There's no melodramatic showdown between the band and the troubled lead singer, or between Ian Curtis and his wife Deborah. It attempts no great statement about the redemptive power of love or music, but it captures something subtle about the power of music and love to transform people.

Really good, sad flick.

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