Velvet Goldmine, or the End of Glam Rock

I’m surprised I’ve never seen this film before last night. Given the A List cast and the themes, I’m shocked I never stumbled upon it before this. But Velvet Goldmine is now Watch Instantly on Netflix, so that is exactly what I did.

I had no idea what to expect, really. But a ridiculously young Jonathan Rhys-Meyers dressed as a Ziggy Stardust look-alike and singing on a brightly lit stage pretty much had me hooked moments in. Christian Bale as a sexually confused youth and then older, more somber journalist, and Ewan McGregor as a raunchy, drugged up bi-sexual rock star, pretty much sealed the deal. I’ve been told I’m a little warped when it comes to my taste in movies (see: Attack the Block).

The film illustrates the rise and fall of the Glam Rock era of the 70’s through the  fictional biography of pop star Brian Slade (Rhys-Meyers) and the effects of his rise to stardom on the people in his life, like his groupie wife (Toni Collette), his lover and fellow rocker, Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor), and even those who only idolized them, like Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale).

It’s almost a musical but not quite, with plenty of music performed by Rhys-Meyers and McGregor, most of it direct homage to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Iggy Pop. The music is fantastic, and Ewan’s performance of his final song is heart-wrenching.

Be warned – along with male/male kissing you will see Ewan McGregor fully nude. If that is not appealing to you, then you probably shouldn’t be watching this film.

I’ve read some reviews that are let down by the film, that characterize the film as  ” a lot of beginnings and endings with no real middle”, but I think it suits the film nicely. If you don’t mind the nudity and homosexuality, then let me know if you agree after viewing.

All in all, I really liked this film. A lot. And I’m so glad I finally discovered it.

4 Responses to “Velvet Goldmine, or the End of Glam Rock”
  1. Yay! Someone else who LOVES this film. I mentioned it a few times on my blog, and a lot of people weren’t familiar with it.

    Isn’t it just AWESOME?

  2. Dave says:

    Ok, this movie is now in my netflix instant watch queue. Sounds like a pretty interesting flick to say the least 🙂

    • Definitely interesting! I’ve read some reviews that weren’t too wild about it – one of them called the movie a series of beginnings and endings with no middle point – but I personally felt like it suited the film. I’m interested to hear what you think!

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