Anton Corbijn (2007)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn's long-term love affair with 1970s Manchester rock band Joy Division bears rich fruit in his intimate and affecting biopic of their tragic lead singer Ian Curtis. Based on the memoirs of Curtis's widow Deborah (portrayed with poignant resilience by Samantha Morton), the monochrome feature traces the iconic star's short life, from his David Bowie-fixated teens and early marriage, to his debilitating struggle with fame, depression and ill-health that led to his suicide, aged 23. Although the musical aspect is exceptional, thanks to the cast playing live rather than miming, it's debut director Corbijn's decision to focus on the story's human elements that give the drama depth and extend its appeal. Brighton Rock's Sam Riley is uncannily convincing as Curtis, capturing both his hyperactive stage persona and his tortured private side, while beautifully framed visuals enhance the excellent performances. But the picture's biggest surprise is its earthy humour, which further dismantles the myth behind the man.


Biopic of Ian Curtis, the troubled lead singer of Joy Division, who took his own life at the age of 23. As the band rise to success in the post-punk era of the late 1970s, Curtis struggles with the pressures of fame, a failing marriage, uncontrollable epilepsy and an affair with a Belgian journalist. Based on the book Touching from a Distance by Curtis' wife Deborah, and starring Sam Riley and Samantha Morton.

Cast & Crew

Ian Curtis Sam Riley
Deborah Curtis Samantha Morton
Annik Honore Alexandra Maria Lara
Peter "Hooky" Hook Joe Anderson (1)
Bernard Sumner James Anthony Pearson
Rob Gretton Toby Kebbell
Tony Wilson Craig Parkinson
Steve Morris Harry Treadaway
Terry Andrew Sheridan
Twinny Robert Shelly
Director Anton Corbijn
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Momentum PicturesGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 5 Oct 2007