Review: ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ (2022), starring Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell

November 28, 2022

by Carla Hay

Jack O’Connell and Emma Corrin in “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix)

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (2022)

Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Culture Representation: Taking place from 1918 to 1919, in the United Kingdom, the dramatic film “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” features an all-white cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Lady Constance Chatterley’s sex life with her husband comes to an abrupt end after his World War I injuries leave him with paraplegia, and he encourages her to get pregnant by another man because he wants an heir, but the two spouses are not prepared when she unexpectedly falls in love with her secret lover, who is the couple’s gamekeeper employee.

Culture Audience: “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” will appeal mainly to people who are fans of the D.H. Lawrence novel on which the movie is based, as well as people who are interested in erotic love stories that are set in the early 20th century.

Emma Corrin and Matthew Duckett in “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (Photo by Seamus Ryan/Netflix)

Gorgeously filmed and terrifically acted, this version of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is the best movie adaptation of the book so far. Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell give sensuous and romantic performances as the secret lovers who are the story’s main characters. Everything about the movie is authentically detailed to the story’s setting of the United Kingdom in 1918 and 1919, even though the movie’s pace tends to drag in some areas. This movie version of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” should please fans of D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel of the same name (on which this movie is based), as well as viewers who might not have read the book but are interested in early 20th century stories about torrid love affairs and women who unapologetically live their truths. “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” had its world premiere at the 2022 Telluride Film Festival in Colorado and then made the rounds at other film festivals in 2022, including the BFI London Film Festival and AFI Fest in Los Angeles.

Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is the fourth movie adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence book. The first “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” movie is director Just Jaeckin’s 1981 drama, starring Sylvia Kristel as Lady Chatterley and Nicholas Clay as Oliver Mellors, who becomes Lady Chatterley’s lover. Then came director Pascale Ferran’s 2006 French-language film “Lady Chatterley,” starring Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo’ch as the two illicit lovers. There’s also the 2015 BBC TV-movie “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” directed by Jed Mercurio, and starring Holliday Grainger and Richard Madden as the lady and her lover.

The 2022 movie version of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” directed by de Clermont-Tonnerre is a cut above the rest, in terms of overall quality on all levels. This movie is also faithful to the plot and tone of the book. As the non-conformist Lady Chatterley, Corrin’s wonderfully expressive performance skillfully conveys the inner turmoil and outer frustrations of an aristocratic wife who is often emotionally stifled in an environment where her husband and society dictate how she must live her life. As the movie’s title character O’Connell is pitch-perfect as the working-class employee who is acutely aware of the social-class minefield he is entering by having an affair with his wealthy employer’s wife.

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” begins with the 1918 wedding of Constance “Connie” Reid to Clifford Chatterley (played by Matthew Duckett), a wealthy heir to a fortune made from mining. Because Clifford has the title of lord, Connie will have the title of lady when she becomes his wife. The wedding is a happy occasion, because Connie and Clifford seem to genuinely be in love.

But there are some clues about possible trouble in this marriage. On Connie and Clifford’s wedding day, Connie’s older sister Hilda (played by Faye Marsay) has a private conversation with Connie, who had her heart broken by a German ex-boyfriend. It’s implied that Clifford is a rebound relationship for Connie, and they had a whirlwind courtship. This courtship is never seen in the movie.

Hilda tells Connie with concern in her voice, “I don’t want you to get hurt again.” Connie assures Hilda that she made the right decision to choose Clifford as a husband: “He’s kind and thoughtful, and he makes me feel safe.” But is there romantic passion between Connie and Clifford? Connie is about to find out that her marriage to Clifford will come up very short in that area.

At the wedding reception, Clifford’s widower father Sir Geoffrey Chatterley (played by Alistair Findlay) gives a toast to the assembled guests. Observant viewers will notice that behind Geoffrey’s cheerful smile and pleasant mannerisms are a few signs of discontent. One of the signs is when Geoffrey has thanked many of the guests who donated their butter and sugar rations “to help us celebrate.” It’s an indication that although the Chatterley family is wealthy, World I has taken a toll on the family’s finances.

Before making the toast, Geoffrey also makes a snide remark about Connie marrying Clifford (who has no siblings) for the Chatterley family’s sprawling and rural Wragby estate, located in the Midlands of England. Connie laughs off this possible insult and tells Geoffrey and the rest of the crowd that she and Clifford have married for love. Geoffrey’s comment is also an indication that Connie was into a lower-ranking artisocratic family. Connie’s father is Sir Malcolm Reid (played by Anthony Brophy), who approves of the marriage and is briefly shown in the wedding scene. Geoffrey’s toast includes this statement: “To the next heir of Chatterley.”

After the wedding, Connie and Clifford live in London. In their bedroom, she asks him, “Do you want children, Clifford?” He answers, “Yeah, someday. I’m assuming you would.” Connie replies, “I think so, yeah.” The movie doesn’t ever show Connie and Clifford having sex, but it’s implied that they had a healthy sex life before Clifford went off to serve in the military for World War I.

Clifford goes away to war soon after the wedding. “I’ll write to you every day,” he promises Connie at the train station. But when Clifford comes back from the war, after it ends in November 1918, the marriage will be changed considerably. Clifford was wounded in the war and has paralysis from the waist down. He has to use a wheelchair to move around. Clifford’s widower father Geoffrey died during the war, and Clifford has inherited the Ragby estate.

Clifford and Connie both seem to take his paraplegia in stride and agree that he needs to be in a less hectic environment than in a city. They move from London to the Ragby estate, which had largely been unoccupied since the death of Clifford’s father. “I think he died of chagrin,” Clifford says of his father not living long enough to have a grandchild.

At the Ragby estate, Connie and Clifford promptly hire several new employees, now that Clifford and Connie will be living there full-time. One of the people they hire is Oliver Mellors (played by O’Connell), who served as an army lieutenant in the war and has been hired to live and work on the Ragby estate as a gamekeeper. When Connie and Oliver first meet, there’s no attraction between the. It’s strictly an employer/employee relationship.

At first, Clifford seems to be good spirits in adjusting to his post-war physical condition. He’s a writer who decides to expand a short story that he started while attending Cambridge University into a novel. The novel gets published, but Clifford goes into a state of self-criticism and despair after he reads a newspaper article that has a negative review of the book. Connie tries to cheer him up, but this negative review has seemingly damaged Clifford’s self-esteem and confidence as a writer.

Clifford is also feeling insecure because his paraplegia has made him sexually impotent. Connie is as understanding as possible when her attempts to have sex with him end with Clifford stopping and saying, “I can’t.” But this lack of a sex life eventually has serious repercussions on their marriage.

Clifford expects Connie to be his nursemaid because he doesn’t want to pay to hire someone to do this work. (it’s one of many signs that Clifford is a cheapskate.) But the strain of taking care of him has left Connie in poor health. She lost an alarming amount of weight, which has lowered her energy level and immune system.

Hilda comes to visit and is so horrified by Connie’s physical condition, she insists that Clifford hire a nursemaid. Hilda thinks the best choice is a middle-aged widow named Mrs. Bolton (played by Joely Richardson), who was Clifford’s nanny when Clifford was a child. Hilda is strong-willed and very opinionated. Hilda lets it be known that she thinks Clifford could be a more considerate husband to Connie.

With Connie now having more free time without the stress of being Clifford’s nursemaid, her health starts to improve, even if the couple’s sex life hasn’t. But then, Clifford drops a bombshell proposal on Connie: He tells her more than anything, he wants to have an heir (preferably a son), so asks her how she would feel about getting pregnant by another man.

Connie is completely shocked and says she can’t do have sex with another man because she and Clifford are married. However, Clifford cheerfully tells her that he will have her blessing to have an extramarital affair, as long as she’s discreet about it. He also tells Connie that she can choose who her lover will be, but he doesn’t want to know who it is or any other details about the affair. He also compares this arrangement of having sex with a man who’ll impregnate her to “like taking a trip to the dentist.”

At this point in the marriage, Connie just wants to make Clifford happy. And although she’s uncomfortable with this plan, she goes along with it because she also wants to become a parent. Connie takes a mild interest in Oliver, who is a polite and reserved employee who lives in a cottage with his dog Flossie. Connie asks a schoolteacher acquaintance named Mrs. Flint (played by Ella Hunt) what Oliver’s story is.

And that’s how Connie finds out that Oliver is married but separated from his wife Bertha. According to Mrs. Flint, Bertha cheated on Oliver with several men when he was serving in the war. And now, Bertha is living with another man, but she won’t give Oliver a divorce. Connie’s German ex-boyfriend also cheated on her, so she immediately feels empathy for Oliver.

Connie comes up with excuses to visit Oliver or walk near his cottage. The first time she shows up at his place, she’s impressed that he’s reading a James Joyce novel. Over time, Connie discovers that Oliver is a caring and emotionally intelligent person, but he’s very wary about what Connie wants from him and how risky it would be for his employment status if they had an affair.

Of course, it should be no secret to viewers that Connie and Oliver eventually become lovers. When they begin their affair, she doesn’t tell him that Clifford gave her permission to have a lover so that she could get pregnant. She doesn’t tell Oliver because she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings by making him feel like he’s being used like a stud.

However, what Connie thought would be a “no strings attached” sexual relationship turns out to be much more complicated when she and Oliver start to fall in love with each other. Just as Clifford requested, Connie keeps the relationship a secret from him and other people. But the more emotionally distant Clifford gets, the more emotionally intimate Connie and Oliver get with each other.

Clifford seems to care more about writing, listening to the radio, and spending time with Mrs. Bolton (whom he sees as a mother figure/confidante) than he cares about spending time and paying attention to Connie. The movie has more than one scene of Connie being in a room with Clifford, and he acts as if she’s not really there. Feeling neglected and unappreciated just fuels Connie’s passion for Oliver even more because he’s completely present and attentive to her every time that they are together.

When the novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” was first published in 1928, it was controversial because its erotic content was considered too risqué, which resulted in the book being banned in some places. The Connie/Oliver sex scenes in 2022’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” gradually get more explicit as they fall deeper in love with each other. The lover scenes include occasional full-frontal nudity (male and female), but the nudity and sex scenes are artfully filmed and never look exploitative.

One of the most striking aspects of this version of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is Benoît Delhomme’s immersive and beautiful cinematography, whose use of certain palettes (especially blue and green) give the movie a rich vibrancy that is perfectly suited for this type of movie. Also impressive are the production design led by Karen Wakefield and the costume design by Emma Fryer. The attention to detail is impeccable.

All of these technical aspects of the movie just complement how well all of the cast members play their roles. Oliver and Connie might come from different social classes, but they are both an emotionally wounded in their own ways and find unexpected love with each other. The question is how far their loyalty to each other will go.

Connie also begins to understand that the true definition of “class” should not be defined by how much money someone has but what type of character that person has. Clifford is spoiled, self-centered snob who believes that aristocrats should treat non-aristocrats as inferior. Connie feels the exact opposite way and thinks that people should be treated fairly and equally.

It’s later revealed that Clifford exploits his workers by paying them well below a living wage. The movie doesn’t go too much into these worker exploitation issues, although there are indications that Connie becomes more aware as time goes on of the Chatterley family’s role in worker exploitation of the miners in the community. For example, when Connie first meets Mrs. Flint on the street during May Day, Connie is disturbed by the sight of a miner strike/labor protest that briefly becomes volatile. Mrs. Flint tells Connie that these miners have come from out of town, but Connie finds out that the miner’s problems actually hit much closer to home than she originally thought.

One of the main reasons why the “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” novel was so controversial at the time it was published is because it’s about a woman in search of autonomy over her sexuality. The right to control and the freedom to express sexuality have gender double standards that haven’t completely gone away just because there’s been progress made in female empowerment issues since 1928. People can certainly debate the morals of marital infidelity (especially if a spouse gives permission for the other spouse to have sex outside the marriage) and how marital infidelity is presented in this story. However, what this movie demonstrates so well is that the real morality issue in “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is whether or not Connie can truthfully live according to how she really feels.

Netflix released “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” in select U.S. cinemas on November 23, 2022. The movie will premiere on Netflix on December 2, 2022.

Review: ‘Kat and the Band,’ starring Ella Hunt and Dougie Poynter

August 12, 2020

by Carla Hay

Dougie Poynter and Ella Hunt in “Kat and the Band” (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ogilvy Photography/101 Films)

“Kat and the Band”

Directed by E. E. Hegarty

Culture Representation: Taking place in primarily in London and partly in Chesham, England, the comedy film “Kat and the Band” has a predominantly white cast of characters (with some black people and Asians) representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: A female student, who’s in her last year of high school, fulfills her dream of managing a rock band, but she lies about her age and lack of experience in order to convince a local band that she should be the band’s manager.

Culture Audience: “Kat and the Band” will appeal mostly to people who like teen-oriented comedies that are mostly formulaic but also has some less-predictable elements.

Ella Hunt and Dougie Poynter in “Kat and the Band” (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ogilvy Photography/101 Films)

Whenever there’s a “coming of age” movie about a rock fan who wants to work behind the scenes in the music industry, the protagonist is usually male. Therefore, it’s refreshing that “Kat in the Band” is from the point of view of a female protagonist: Kat Malone (played by in a charming performance by Ella Hunt), a restless London teenager who loves rock music and whose main goal in life is to become a manager of a talented and successful rock band.

Fortunately, “Kat and the Band” (directed by E.E. Hegarty and written by Jemma Field and Michael Müller) gets many aspects correct when it comes to teenage angst. But since the movie is a comedy, there are some absurdist and fairly unrealistic elements of the movie too, especially when it comes to the inner workings of the music industry. If viewers are willing to suspend their disbelief during some of these far-fetched moments and appreciate the fairly good acting of the cast, then “Kat and the Band” can be a lightweight and entertaining jaunt into London’s youth culture and pop/rock music scene.

Kat is in the last year of her high school, which is an all-girls private school where the students are required to wear uniforms. It’s not stated but it’s implied that Kate is 18, which is the legal age to drink alcohol in the United Kingdom. Kat has made it clear to everyone around her that she’s not at all interested in going to college. She lives in a comfortably upper-middle-class home with her ambitious single mother Liz (played by Katherine Kelly) and Liz’s ex-hippie mother, whose first name isn’t mentioned in the movie, but Kat calls her grandmother Gran (played by Joanna David). Kat’s father is not seen or mentioned in the movie.

Liz comes from a working-class background, and she likes to remind Kat that she had to work hard for everything that they have, because Liz wasn’t expected to amount to much when she was growing up. As a result of her ambition, Liz is a workaholic who often goes on business trips. The industry where Liz works is not stated in the movie. Liz’s frequent absence from home gives Kat more freedom to do what she wants, but it’s also caused some resentment from Kat, who wants her mother’s attention and approval more than Kat would like to admit.

Liz often gives criticism to Kat about being too lazy and ungrateful about her privileged life. Liz also expects Kat to go to university, but Kat is dead-sent against that idea. Therefore, Liz and Kat clash over the decision about whether Kat should get a college education or start her life ambition of being in the music business as an artist manager.

Kat’s relationship with her mother is rocky, but she’s much closer to Gran, who likes to do yoga exercises and gives Kat advice such as: “Don’t let other people’s reality dictate yours. In Kat’s dictionary of life, it’s only you who can write the definition.” It comes as no surprise that Gran encourages Kat to pursue her dream of being an artist manager in the music industry.

The haphazard and desperate way that Kat goes about fulfilling that goal is shown in the beginning of the movie, when Kat and her best friend Jane (played by Jennifer Leong) go to a nightclub and saunter past people waiting in line and go right up to the doorman to tell him that they are on the guest list. Kat introduces herself as Kat Malone from Power Chords Music Management.

Kat and Jane aren’t on the list, of course. And when the doorman tells them that, Kat pretends that Jane is her assistant who has screwed up by not calling ahead to be put on the guest list. Kat then yells at Jane and threatens to “fire” her. It’s all for show to manipulate the doorman to take pity on Jane.

And the tactic works. As Kat and Jane start to walk away, the doorman calls them back and says that Kat’s name is actually on the list. As they walk in the nightclub, the doorman whispers to Jane that she should find another job. Once inside the club, Kat goes right to her plan to try to convince the band that’s playing that she should be the band’s manager.

That band is a trio called Dollar Days. They don’t have a record deal, but they have enough of a fan base in the London area to get gigs at local nightclubs. The band is led by bass player Alex (played by Dougie Poynter), who’s also the band’s manager and the obvious heartthrob in the group. In real life, Poynter is best known as the bass player for pop/rock band McFly, so he doesn’t have to do much acting when he’s on stage in this movie.

The Dollar Days lineup is rounded out by lead singer/guitarist Brian (played by Callum McGowan) and new drummer Sid (played by Idris Debrand), who is recruited later in the story when the band’s drummer quits and Dollar Days need a replacement drummer on short notice. Kat doesn’t make a good impression the first time that she meets Alex at the nightclub. He tells her that the band doesn’t need a manager because he’s the one who’s managing the band.

The first time that she meets Alex, Kat gushes over the band’s songs to Alex and says, “You have a sound that’s so raw.” But she also has some constructive criticism for the band. She tells Alex, “You’re playing the wrong places. Your bass is too dominant. Your social media is social suicide. And your set list? Confused.”

Kat also makes a bad impression because she buys a drink for herself at the club and tells the bartender to charge it to Dollar Days. Alex finds out, of course, and he takes the drink from her before he leaves. There’s another band playing after Dollar Days that Kat doesn’t respect because she thinks it’s a cookie-cutter “pretty boy” band with boring songs. The lead singer of that band is named Marcus (played by Jackson Bews), who is the band’s heartthrob because he supposedly has amazing abs, but he’s never seen shirtless in the movie.

Even though Alex rejected Kat’s request to be Dollar Days’ manager, she doesn’t give up so easily. At the end of the night, when the nightclub is closing, Kat and Jane see Marcus leaning against the wall and smoking a cigarette. Kat is sure that the bands are going to have an after-party, so she goes up to Marcus and lies to him by saying that Jane is interested in Marcus but is too shy to approach him first.

Marcus looks over at Jane, who’s standing far enough away that she can’t hear the conversation, and he tells Kat that he thinks Jane is cute. In some problematic and icky dialogue, Kat then tells Marcus that Jane is likely to relax after a few drinks if Jane and Kat both get invited to the after-party. It’s really Kat’s way of saying, “If you get my friend drunk or tipsy at this party, she might be more sexually willing to do what you want.”

It’s all kinds of wrong that Kat would be willing to sell out her friend in what could turn into a possible sexual assault. But is it realistic and have people done this before? Absolutely. This scene also demonstrates how impulsive and reckless teenagers can be when it comes to not thinking ahead about the “worst case scenario” consequences that can happen when people get intoxicated at a party. And it’s also a scene that demonstrates how desperate Kat is to be in the music industry.

It’s clear that Kat doesn’t have any malicious intent toward her friend Jane. But it’s also clear that Kat is only thinking of herself and what she wants at that moment, including being willing to use her friend as sexual bait to be invited to a party. The musicians in this movie all look like they’re supposed to be in their 20s. And even though Jane is presumably the same age as Kat (they’re both in their last year of high school, so they’re probably 18), and the age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16, there’s something very off-putting about this scene. The movie has a few other problematic moments, but this is the worst.

Luckily, things work out at the party because Kat convinces Alex to take her phone number, while Jane and Marcus have a mutual attraction to each other. Whatever happens between Jane and Marcus is consensual, and they end up dating each other. The irony is that Kat, who “set them up” in the first place, disapproves of the relationship because she thinks Marcus is shallow and vain.

Kat doesn’t convince Dollar Days right away to hire her as their manager. But the turning point comes when their drummer quits and Kat ends up recommending Sid to be the band’s new drummer. Sid is so talented and fits in so well with the band that Alex and Brian decide to give Kat a chance and let her manage the band.

Kat pretends to be older and more experienced than she really is, and the band doesn’t bother to do a background check on her. This is one of those story ideas that would have worked better if it took place in an era before social media or the Internet existed. Viewers will just have to accept that Dollar Days is not a business-savvy band because of how easily they believe everything that Kat says. There’s also no talk of lawyers or business contracts.

As one can imagine, Kat’s first foray into band management comes with a lot of mishaps and embarrassing mistakes. She gets Dollars Days a pretty good nightclub booking that she promotes with a lot of flyers at her school. On the evening of the gig, it looks like the show is going to be sold out, because most of the people waiting in line are teenage girls from the school.

But then, Kat and the band find out that the club’s admission policy is only for people ages 21 and over. The club owner/manager gets nervous about having all these teenagers outside the club, so he cancels the show. Kat’s booking and promotion of the show is the type of dumb mistake that makes Dollar Days question Kat’s competence. And it won’t be the last thing she does that will make the band want to fire her.

Kat is trying to juggle her responsibilities of managing the band with her academic responsibilities. She’s barely getting passing grades and has gotten enough warnings where she’s only a few steps away from getting suspended. A concerned teacher named Mr. Cato (played by Rufus Hound) tells Kat that she’s smart, but she doesn’t have enough focus.

And since part of this movie is set in a high school, there are the predictable “mean girl” characters. In this movie, they are Tanya (played by Anna Devlin) and Rose (played by Olivia Maiden), who are snooty best friends who sneer at Kat and Jane because of petty things such as the fact that Kat and Jane wear scruffy Dr. Marten boots to school instead of fancy designer shoes.

Jane is more concerned than Kat about “fitting in” and getting the approval of snobs like Tanya and Rose. Kat, who can be very immature and make less-than-smart decisions, is smart enough to know that high-school cliques don’t matter in the real world. However, Kat’s eagerness to get out into the real world as a working person doesn’t sit well with her mother Liz, who wants Kat to go to college. In a very realistic argument scene in the movie, Kat accuses her mother of wanting Kat to go to college so Liz can brag about it to her friends and co-workers instead of caring about whether or not a college education is what Kat really wants.

Of course, Kat can’t be a successful manager without people willing to take a chance on her and the band. Kat and Jane hang out at a café called Casablanca Cave, whose good-natured owner/manager Faz (played Sevan Stephan) plays a pretty big role in being able to help Kat and Dollar Days. Faz also has a cousin named Herbie (played by David Ahmad) who also becomes a fan of the band and offers to help.

“Kat and the Band” has some very predictable moments, some of which are written better than others. But one predictable route that the movie did not take is having Kat “fall in love” with anyone in the band. Usually, in movies like this, the would-be couple will try to have a platonic relationship as long as possible, they have a big argument over a misunderstanding or betrayal, they reconcile when they admit they’re in love with each other and want to be together, and then everyone lives happily ever after.

Alex is the obvious potential love interest for Kat, since they both find each other attractive. But in this #MeToo era, it was wise for the movie not to have the blurred lines that happen when people who work together become romantically involved with each other. Even though she’s young and inexperienced as a manager, Kat also seems to know that it would hurt her credibility as a manager if she started dating one of her clients.

The movie also does a good job at showing how the roles of women can be viewed differently by different generations. After Kat starts managing Dollar Days, Gran asks Kat if she’s sleeping with anyone in the band yet. “Free love is a wonderful thing,” Gran comments to Kat, who cringes in response. Kat says that she’s not interested in the band for sexual reasons. Maybe it would’ve been no big deal for women in the hippie era of the 1960s and 1970s to have “free love” with people they worked with, but the consequences are much riskier now in the #MeToo era.

In an effort to infuse the movie with some more realism, the original music performed by Dollar Days is music by real-life rock band Some Velvet Morning. The songs are good (not great), and they serve their purpose in this movie. Indie pop singer/songwriter Badly Drawn Boy also makes a cameo as himself.

The appeal of “Kat and the Band” relies mostly on Hunt’s charismatic performance. She was also a standout as a star of the 2018 underrated horror-comedy musical “Anna and the Apocalypse.” She doesn’t sing or dance in “Kat and the Band,” but she still lights up the screen with vivacious energy that makes her performance very entertaining to watch. Kat is written and acted as a realistic teenager, with all the flaws and foibles that come with someone who’s still trying to find her identity while she’s in a rush to be taken seriously as an adult.

As the movie’s male leading actor, Poynter does a solid performance as Alex, who comes across as a decent guy, defying the stereotype that rock musicians can be sleazy, sex-crazed drug abusers. Brian is a fairly generic lead singer, while drummer Sid is just happy to be in a band that gets paid to perform. The parental/authority figures come and go in the movie as plot devices to either encourage or discourage Kat in her quest to become an artist manager.

Dollar Days is a band that is struggling to “make it,” so at this point in their career, it makes sense that they’re all pretty humble and could be easily persuaded to have someone like Kat manage them. The movie’s story takes place over the course of a few months, so the story arc can only go so far with what happens to Dollar Days and Kat. It would be interesting to see a realistic movie about a female manager of a rock band that’s become rich and famous. That’s the kind of story that’s rarely told, either as a narrative feature film or a documentary.

As it stands, “Kat and the Band” (which is Hegarty’s feature-film debut as a director) is a comedy about a teenager, and so teens and pre-teens are the target audience for this movie. For that reason, “Kat and the Band” is somewhat sugarcoated and leaves out a lot of realistic scenarios. (There’s no sex in the movie, and Kat doesn’t experience any sexual harassment or gender discrimination in the music industry.) But for people who want a genial story about a plucky young woman following her dreams, “Kat and the Band” will meet those expectations.

101 Films released “Kat and the Band” on digital and VOD in the U.S. on August 11, 2020. The movie’s U.K. release date on digital and VOD was July 13, 2020.

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