Toryboy the Movie

Toryboy the Movie

John Walsh (2010)

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Review

Our Score
Film-maker John Walsh caused something of a stir when his revealing and droll fly-on-the-wall documentary was released after the 2010 General Election. A lifelong Labour supporter, Walsh became so disillusioned by the Blair/Brown governments and the fallout from the MP expenses scandal, that he was driven to take up Tory leader David Cameron's offer for non-members to stand as Conservative candidates in that election. Amazingly, Walsh was selected for Middlesbrough, a northern Labour stronghold unhelpfully labelled as "the town politics forgot". But what started out as an exposé of the process of becoming a Member of Parliament takes a left turn when our wide-eyed novice discovers the incumbent MP, Sir Stuart Bell (in situ since 1983), had not held a surgery for constituents in 15 years. (Indeed, the film attracted unwanted local publicity for Bell after the election.) It's a fascinating odyssey illuminated by pithily informative animations and music from films like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Midnight Cowboy, and the director is such a personable guide who genuinely wants to make a difference, it doesn't matter what party you support. He's reflecting disillusionment with the UK political system, which is as relevant in the present as it was in 2010. It's peppered with wry moments (Walsh trying to convince a minuscule and not youthful local Tory membership of the value of flash mobbing), amusing asides (conferences are "showbusiness for the ugly") and a refreshing naivety (losing his rag when a cock-up with leaflets is discovered only days before polling day). Who would have thought politics could be so entertaining?

Cast & Crew

John Walsh John Walsh
Director John Walsh

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: SwearingAvailable on: DVD