Streaming Releases: The Harsh Fiction of the Camera Eye: England Is Mine (2017) Reviewed

England Is Mine. It doesn't quite owe me a living, but ninety minutes back would be nice. 

A movie meant to capture the life and times of the lyricist and singer known as Morrissey spins a predictable rock story that really required more love than this miserable affair. Missing the true influences behind the man and interweaving nearly all fictional characters into this feature, England is Mine is the epitome of falsities that are amplified by horrendous acting that lacks the charisma and personality of the charming man himself.

England is Mine, the unauthorized biopic about the early years of Steven Patrick Morrissey is a slow paced piece of mopey theater that fails to live up to what we’d expect from a movie about a massive icon. For a bit of history, the featured character was the lead singer of the ‘80s band The Smiths that broke up after only four studio albums and a bevy of radio hits. Upon the breakup of the band prior to the release of Strangeways, Here We Come, Morrissey went on to a successful solo career that has spanned decades. Now, as one of the figureheads of the Manchester movement readies a new record, England is Mine attempts to tell his story with little intriguing thought and manipulative creative license.

I'm doing my best Jim Morrison right now. 

If you’re a fan of The Smiths or Morrissey’s latter solo career, you’ll most likely understand why Moz wanted nothing to do with this bulbous salutation. As dry as a bone, England is Mine is the symptom of a director that was far too worried about playing it safe instead of going the artistic route and pressing forward with sincerity. Far too removed and slightly less than a slew of scenes thrown together, this motion picture is a hampered mess that doesn’t educate or give viewers anything new to chew on.

The producers of Control have much to answer for as this film is a complete failure. Like so many other biopics that do not have the permission of the person who is being adapted to screen or their family, England is Mine features not one Smiths or Morrissey song due to licensing issues. As a piece of nostalgia, this pulls the viewer directly out of the experience.