Front Row at the Movies
"One Chance" To Sing Opera
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Remember that dumpy Scottish woman who wowed the judges of Britain’s Got Talent when she opened her mouth and started singing "I Dreamed a Dream"? Susan Boyle went from being an out-of-work cook to having a net worth of more than £22 million from concert tours.
"One Chance" is a similar story, based on another Britain’s Got Talent contestant. This heartwarming biopic is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.
Paul Potts was a Welsh tenor who in 2007 won the first round of Britain’s Got Talent with his rendition of "Nessum dorma," an aria from an opera by Puccini.
Directed by David Frankel ("The Devil Wears Prada"), "Once Chance" retells Potts’s painful climb to fame.
An amateur opera singer, Potts worked at a going-nowhere day job, suffered from an adrenal tumor, and got badly injured in a bicycle accident. Financial difficulties encouraged him to enter the televised contest.
In this film version, he’s portrayed by a pudgy James Corden ("Begin Again"). Alexandra Roach gives us his wife Julie-Ann, a woman willing to put up with his self-centered attitude because she believes in him. And Colm Meaney is perfectly cast as a "gruff rugby-playing patriarch with a heart of gold."
Yes, "One Chance" takes a few liberties with the facts. But why let that get in the way of a good boy-makes-good story.
Like Susan Boyle, his looks are deceiving. Like her, he was shy and bullied as a youth. Both suffered from a lack of self-confidence. And like her, he’s now booked for concert tours. His assets have grown to £5 million.
That British curmudgeon Simon Cowell, creator of Britain’s Got Talent, is executive producer of "One Change." And he appears in the movie as a judge.
The film is a modern-day fairy tale, a dream-come-true story. It’s sweet, heartfelt, and emotionally satisfying -- totally unlike anything you’d expect from a callous, pull-no-punches critic like ol’ Simon.