One Chance

One Chance

(2013)

Comedy-drama from the director of The Devil Wears Prada based on the meteoric rise of Britain's Got Talent winner, Welshman Paul Potts. The shy, Carphone Warehouse employee's audition bowled over Simon Cowell, became a YouTube sensation and lead to chart-topping albums. Stars comedian James Cordon (Gavin & Stacy) as Potts.... More

"One of four children born to a bus driver and a supermarket cashier, Paul (Corden) grows up in Bristol listening to his parents' opera records and discovering his vocal gift by singing in local choirs. He is also ruthlessly bullied, a devastating blow to his self-confidence alleviated only by his love of song. But song wasn't paying the bills, so Paul works as a mobile-phone salesman while performing in an amateur opera company. Though less than satisfying, life seems settled enough. Then Paul meets Julie-Ann (Alexandra Roach) on the internet. After a tentative courtship, the two fall deeply in love. Paul has almost everything a man could want, and yet he still seems to yearn. The tale of how Paul goes from unfulfilled everyman to media sensation is a testament to the human spirit and one of the most engaging true stories of our time." (Toronto International Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

You realise the pop culture machine must’ve gone a bit loopy now we’re making films about reality TV stars. But Welshman Paul Potts, the 2007 winner of Britain's Got Talent, is a surprisingly worthy subject. Whether Kiwis and opera fans care as much about him as European viewers is one thing but if not, they may miss out on enjoying a rather lovely underdog tale.... More

Potts (who, the film takes great delight in pointing out, shares a name - almost - with the Cambodian dictator) has none of the outer attributes you might associate with stardom, other than a powerful opera singer's girth. He’s also woefully under-confident. Gavin and Stacey star James Corden gives Potts a passion, boyish charm and vulnerability - as opposed to a meek, victim mentality - that makes him impossible not to root for. Alexandra Roach as his supportive partner Jules, Julie Walters and Colm Meaney as Potts' parents, and Mackenzie Crook, shaking off his geeky The Office schtick to play Potts’ louche best mate, complement Cordon’s warm performance.

As for the story, of which we already know the end, screenwriter Justin Zackham tweaks Potts’ history to fit your typically emotional biopic mould, as our determined protagonist comes up against every conceivable obstacle, and bully, along the way. There’s also plenty for the Puccini fans, including a stint when Potts spends time in Venice and performs for Pavarotti, the friendship he strikes there the only false note in the film. And despite a post-wedding scene that pours on the gush factor, One Chance has, for the most part, more wit than sentimentality. Formulaic but moving.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 4 reviews
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BY thorinoak superstar

A sweet and beautiful film with a wonderful performance by James Corden and the loveliest but equally awkward wedding night scene on film. A wonderful story that makes life seem a little more beautiful.


BY Dan-Thompson superstar

Like one of those paint by number kits you got as a kid. You know how it's going to turn out before you start and you're prepared to be underwhelmed, but, despite the numbers showing through the paint, it turns out to be a lovely piece of art.


BY SteveA nobody

Really good story behind this movie. I liked it, was a good one to watch, not your normal movie at all I guess, but I think they did the story very well.


BY Weds_Loafers superstar

Five of us saw “One Chance” today - one of those superb British feel-good stories, though in this case actually put together by the Wienstein brothers. The film is (very) loosely based on the life of Paul Potts, a young opera singer who won the first “Britain’s Got Talent” contest and went on to fame and fortune. “One Chance” was the title of his first album. This is “Billy Elliott” without the dance moves and, in our opinion, with better music! Les, who was a... More semi-professional opera singer in his day absolutely loved it. A unanimous 4.5 stars from us.Hide


The Press Reviews

68% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • A fluffy but fun telling of a rags to riches story. Full Review

  • The movie is strongest is when it strips away the facts and focuses on the emotional notes. Full Review

  • An utterly formulaic but sweet movie that does what a crowd-pleaser is meant to do. Full Review

  • The problem with the film is that Potts’s life story has been put through the Hollywood meatgrinder. Awkward details have been changed or erased – they’ve made Potts Welsh (he grew up in Bristol) and eliminated his siblings. Full Review

  • Potts does the singing himself, but that doesn’t stop Justin Zackham’s (The Big Wedding) contrived script from sounding bum notes throughout. Full Review

  • What keeps One Chance plugging along almost in spite of itself are the warmly engaging performances of Corden and Alexandra Roach. Full Review

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