Jack Lowden of War & Peace, and Dunkirk, stars as the young Steven Morrissey, and gives a terrific performance stepping into the legend's shoes and portraying him as none of us would really expect. The film cleverly almost makes Morrisey seem like a stranger to the audience, as it shows him in a different light than we've all seen him before. The film depicts little to almost none of Morrissey's flamboyant and eccentric character traits he's known for for today, simply because he wasn't 'Morrissey' back in the early 70's; he was just Steven, an antisocial kid whose constant longing for greatness would soon be in reach.
The film pans over a good few years, tracking all of the major and meaningful events that happen in his life during these years that changed him both as a man and as a performer. Although most events are disheartening or disappointing for the young Steven, getting to see how he reacts to them helps the audience learn what he was really like as a young man growing up in Manchester.
There is no mention or even hint of The Smiths existence in the film (as they didn't exist then) - not even a cheeky Smiths song to nudge the audience. Instead, the film oozes an authenticity and realness which would interest and invite any audience member...die hard Smiths fan or not.
The film is accompanied by beautiful cinematography by Nicholas D. Knowland, which sets the harsh tone of 70's Manchester along with Steven's own unique vision on life - but steers clear of Steven's miserable outlook on everything being reflected onto the film itself.
Although not featuring any Smiths tunes, the film does have a very good soundtrack, including tracks from the Sex Pistols and The Clash. It also includes an incredible cast, with Jack Lowden, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jodie Comer, Laurie Kynaston and Simone Kirkby all contributing to the film's excellent story of Morrissey's younger years, and his struggles to stay true to himself and his vision.
Book your ticket to England Is Mine here.