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ENGLAND IS MINE (2017, directed by Mark Gill)—an Angry-Young-Man-of-the-North story—is a film of cool, quiet gray tones that holds great appeal in the midst of our endless Southern California heat wave.

Jack Lowden—in the sort of role played so well by Tom Courtenay in the early 1960s—is Steven Patrick Morrissey. Except for a tantalizing fragment of a pre-Smiths performance, Steven is beyond withdrawn and barely able to get through the motions of everyday life. What sustains him is the appreciation and expression—at least within the privacy of the pages of his notebook—of the kind of towering disdain for his fellow man once perfected by Oscar Wilde. By the end of the film, Steven has worked up the courage to pay his first visit to the flat of Johnny Marr.

We’ll have to wait for another film to see and hear the results of that collaboration, but on the soundtrack of ENGLAND IS MINE, the New York Dolls, Roxy Music, The Sparks, Mott the Hoople, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are all heard from.

ENGLAND IS MINE, through September 14.

LAEMMLE MONICA FILM CENTER, 1332 2nd Street, downtown Santa Monica.

LAEMMLE PLAYHOUSE, 673 East Colorado Bouloevard, Pasadena.


Jack Lowden (left) as Morrissey and Laurie Kynaston as Johnny Marr in England is Mine.In the laboratory of genius: Jack Lowden (seated) as Morrissey and Laurie Kynaston as Johnny Marr in England is Mine


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