Films: One Chance

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  • Sunday, November 17, 7:00 PM
    The Elaine Wolf Theatre


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One Chance

One Chance

United Kingdom, 2013, 103 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Comedy, Drama, Music
Program: Special Presentation
Language: English

DIRECTOR: David Frankel
Producer: Simon Cowell, Michael Menchel, Kris Thykier, Harvey Weinstein, Brad Weston
Editor: Wendy Greene Bricmont
Screenwriter: Justin Zackham
Cinematographer: Florian Ballhaus
Principal Cast: Julie Walters, Colm Meaney, Mackenzie Crook, James Corden, Jemima Rooper, Alexandra Roach

A classic underdog story of the sensitive, artistic kid triumphing over adversity, this gentle comedy reads like Billy Elliot but is based on the life of cellphone salesman Paul Potts, who stepped on stage for Britain’s Got Talent and amazed the world. The insecure Potts had been toiling in obscurity for many years, working to train that beautiful tenor voice to sing his much beloved classical music.

Encouraged by his mother since he was a boy, Potts knew and loved opera—and had the capacity to bring its works to fruition. While Simon Cowell’s imprimatur looked like a done deal on TV, it was a long road to that stage. Potts grew up being bullied, even by his steelworker dad, who disapproved of his passion for music. The singer suffered numerous physical calamities (including an appendectomy and a bus-car accident that landed him in the hospital with multiple fractures). While he saved enough to go to Venice to study singing from such greats as Luciano Pavarotti, he was undermined by his lack of self-confidence. And despite having won a local talent contest, he had no confidence that he could compete for the $100,000 prize offered in the British reality competition.

One of the great pleasures of the story is the reaction of the audition crowd—a crowd with zero interest in opera, a crowd that came to see variety acts compete in a contest—as members recognize the brilliance of the shy Potts and leap to their feet to cheer him on.

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