The Electric

What's On

England Is Mine

Friday 4th to Thursday 10th August

Click on 'Book Tickets' for times

Screens 1 & 2

Director: Mark Gill

Starring: Jack Lowden, Laurie Kynaston

Rating: 15

UK 2017, 94mins

Steven Patrick Morrissey (Jack Lowden) wants to write and sing. But as a young man, his voice goes no further than the NME letters page and his dead-end office walls. When the punk scene explodes, Steven discovers there’s more to life than dark satanic mills. With the help of strong women, the young Morrissey embarks on a journey to become himself in a world that’s trying to make him like everybody else.

A would-be writer, he sends letter after letter to the New Musical Express, but finds himself forced to take a job at the local tax office to help his family. He is constantly taking time off to spend time with London-bound local art student Linder (an entrancing Jessica Brown Findlay) or hiding on the office roof to write lyrics. Made with a wonderfully wry sense of humour, it presents a fish-out-of-water Morrissey, intent on railing on those around him, but also too shy and insecure at times to break from the mainstream.

There are delicious moments of humour – especially when co-worker Christine (Jodie Comer) essentially blackmails him into dating her – as Morrissey struggles to find his musical mojo, plus a great sense of time and place within the Manchester music scene. The film is an unauthorised portrait of the young Morrisey, exploring his musical influences, ambition, disappointments, depression and creativity, ending just as he and guitarist Johnny Marr finally get together with a view to setting up a band.

The title comes from The Smiths’ classic hit Still Ill ('England is mine, and it owes me a living. Ask me why and I'll spit in your eye'), written by Morrissey and Marr, and perfectly reflecting his ambitions, frustrations and eventual determination to become the artist he always knows, deep down, he is destined to be.