One Chance (PG)

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The ViewQueenstown Review

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Review byKatherine McLaughlin26/10/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

One Chance tells the story of Paul Potts in a sweet and over sentimental way veering away from the truth in favour of the usual formulaic Hollywood style story.

What’s it all about?
In 2007 Paul Potts won reality TV talent show Britain’s Got Talent, wowing the judges with his rendition of Nessun dorma. One Chance tells his life story up until this point, the bullying he suffered throughout his childhood and all the highs and lows of trying to fulfil his lifetime ambition of becoming an opera singer.

The Good
The You Tube clip of Paul Potts singing Nessun Dorma (with its 125 million hits) by which means this film got the green light, is still as moving as it ever was, combined with the footage from Britain’s Got Talent showing the judges surprised faces spliced with Corden on stage belting it out (dubbed over by Potts himself throughout the entire film).

Alexandra Roach as the love interest to James Corden is quite wonderful and lights up every scene with her convincing portrayal of a down to earth woman. She’s a giggly and supportive character who is actually of more interest than the lightly painted Potts. It’s unfortunate that their love story is perhaps the best strand of this tale with Corden and Roach playing off each other well. Julie Walters, as expected, is brilliant and funny and Corden (when not miming) does a good job as the sweet natured Welsh singer.

The Bad
The character of Paul Potts in this film has been manipulated and simplified to fit into the uplifting story of a down on his luck man overcoming adversity. However the truth would have made for a far more interesting tale. It’s also very difficult to stifle your laughter whilst watching Corden miming, as it never quite sits right.

Fake Luciano Pavarotti munching on his breadsticks as he criticises and shakes Potts’ confidence at a performance early on in his career is quite cartoonish (and didn’t actually happen), as are the friends who surround the leading man throughout his life. Mackenzie Crook and Jemima Rooper get cast as the kooky couple, Colm Meaney as the disapproving dad, and Julie Walters as the caring mother. Each actor does a good job with what they are given but ultimately this story belongs on TV and not on a cinema screen.

Worth seeing?
If you’re interested in the Hollywoodised version of Paul Potts’ life story then One Chance is a pleasant enough rags to riches yarn.

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One Chance (PG)
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Content updated: 17/12/2018 21:27

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