Sundance Review: The Look of Love


Director:Michael Winterbottom

Cast:Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots, Anna Friel

Running Time:105 Minutes


Sex, drugs, predictability! Steve Coogan stars as Paul
Raymond: porn baron, property collector, and richest man in Britain. As it
turns out, the man who basically ushered erotica into Britain and gathered more
wealth than anyone else in the country is an unhappy man. His daughter, Debbie,
shares his unhappiness, and the two dive headfirst into piles of cocaine. Spoiler
alert: things don't turn out well.

Aping the format of The Iron Lady, The Look of Love finds
Coogan's Paul Raymond reminiscing over his successes and failures throughout
life as he nears his last days. This format is neither new nor interesting anymore,
but unfortunately it seems to be the biopic standard, so it is here to stay.
Coogan's performance is very solid, and it is good to see him in a role that is
more than just a comedic performance. He really gets to stretch his acting
chops. Unfortunately, the plot, stylization, and direction surrounding his
performance are all tired. Anna Friel and Imogen Poots both put in fine
performances as his wife and daughter respectively, but none of them can truly
elevate this movie above middling.


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