Hunky Dory (film)

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Hunky Dory
Hunky dory poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byMarc Evans
Produced byJonathan Finn
Dan Lupovitz
Written byLaurence Coriat
StarringMinnie Driver
Haydn Gwynne
Bob Pugh
Owen Teale
Steve Speirs
Aneurin Barnard
Music byJoby Talbot
CinematographyCharlotte Bruus Christensen
Aegis Film Fund
Mulligan and Nesbitt Productions
Distributed byEntertainment One
Release date
  • 25 October 2011 (2011-10-25) (London Film Festival)
  • 2 March 2012 (2012-03-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$20,296[1]

Hunky Dory is a British independent musical film about the trials of an idealistic drama teacher as she tries to put on the end-of-year show. It was written by Laurence Coriat and directed by Welsh director Marc Evans and stars Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Kimberley Nixon and Robert Pugh.[2] It premièred at the 55th BFI London Film Festival on 25 October 2011,[3] and was officially released on 2 March 2012 in the UK.


Set in a Welsh comprehensive school during the long hot summer of 1976, keen drama teacher Vivienne (Minnie Driver) fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on a glam rock musical version of Shakespeare's The Tempest of which David Bowie (whose album provides the name of the film) might be proud.[4] To engage her totally lackadaisical students, and get them to explore and express their emotions, she uses pop hits of the time, performed by a fresh young cast led by Davey (Aneurin Barnard). She hopes her more liberal approach to learning may stir them to discover they might be good at something, if once they let their inhibitions go, and might actually have fun creating something, and even absorb some of the dreaded Shakespeare after all. Her aspirations appear thwarted by her troublesome students who, raging with hormones, get up to various antics which seem destined to sabotage the musical. She also faces opposition from traditionally-minded, old-fashioned teaching staff, so getting the show to opening night is a constant challenge.

Later, a frustrated student sets fire to the whole school auditorium. Consequently, now minus a stage and most of the musical instruments, the show has to be promptly cancelled by the headmaster, despite his cooperation having earlier been bribed by his being cast in the part of Prospero). A side plot involves conflict between Vivienne's liberalism and the attitudes of her long-standing opponents on the staff, centring on discovering which "delinquent" student was responsible for the arson. Deflated, but ultimately unwilling to chart this mishap or her role as "music teacher" as yet another thing she's failed at in life, she manages to persuade both the headmaster and the students to continue with rehearsals, and go ahead with the show regardless, but re-siting it in an alfresco outdoor setting. So The Tempest is staged under moon and stars, set around a large theatrical looking tree on the school grounds. Her production is a triumph, much enjoyed by both the students and their families in the audience.

An end scene, just prior to the credits rolling, features a photo-montage of what became of each student post leaving school. Vivienne had remained as music teacher, directing a school play every year since, till, at the year of release of 'this very film', she retires from the job.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "It's All Hunky Dory as Graduates Come Home". Retrieved 14 November. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "Hunky Dory premiere at London Film Festival". Retrieved 14 November. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "Film Review: Hunky Dory (2012)". Retrieved 3 March. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "Hunky Dory". Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 14 November. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]