|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||The Look of Love|
|Genre:||Drama, Comedy, Tragicomedy|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 101 min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
Michael Winterbottom is known for the fact that he likes to deal with provocative or difficult topics in his films. As a director he seems to be predestined to film the life of a man who owes his success to several social taboo breaks. In "The Look of Love" Winterbottom tells the true story of Paul Raymond, who wrote British social and scandal history as "King of Soho". Raymond, played brilliantly in the film by comedian Steve Coogan, started in London with a show as a mind reader. He quickly realized that the audience's attention was not so much on him as on his scantily dressed assistants. That gave him the idea to make money with bare facts. Since women in Great Britain appeared naked on stage but were not allowed to move, Raymond used a clever trick: he simply declared his revue bar in Soho in London's West End to be a private club and in 1958 created the country's first strip club, which soon also welcomed very prominent guests as members.
His marriage to the former dancer Jean (Anna Friel) initially endured Raymond's repeated sexual pleasures with some of his showgirls. But when he falls in love with the young dancer Amber (Tamsin Egerton), the marriage is over for him. He leaves Jean and starts a new life at the side of the 20 years younger woman. As a publisher of men's magazines, he can also continue to build on his success, but this does not protect him from a few private setbacks. Because Paul Raymond has to learn a lesson in a particularly painful way despite all his professional success: happiness cannot simply be bought with millions…
In "The Look of Love" Michael Winterbottom mixes humor and drama to a fascinating and stirring film biography, which at the same time has become a very harmonious moral painting of England in the 60s and 70s. With an excellent set, a harmonious soundtrack and especially with its first-class cast, Winterbottom takes its viewers on a journey through time that is also extremely gripping for German viewers, even if only a few in Germany are familiar with Paul Raymond.
As interesting as the biography of this really clever businessman may be, the film only works so well because the themes on which it is based are very universal, timeless things that can be used to build really good stories - no matter whether they are fictional or real. The discussion about morality and responsibility, the question about what makes a good father and what price one is willing to pay for wealth and success, all this makes "The Look of Love" so exciting, even without the appropriate prior knowledge about the true background.
Thanks to the humor that always loosens things up, Winterbottom skilfully prevents the movie from looking too melancholic despite some very dark and sad moments and at the same time manages to keep the entertainment value at a pleasantly high level. However, his sometimes somewhat artificial narrative style also makes the movie seem a bit bulky to some viewers. Friends of sophisticated film biographies and British arthouse tragicomedies, on the other hand, are more than well served here. Therefore - just because of the great performance of Steve Coogan, who is unfortunately much too unknown here in Germany: Absolutely worth seeing!
Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp