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Cannes 2017: How to Talk to Girls at Parties Review

Author: Jo-Ann Titmarsh

There’s been a lot of anticipation for this film by John Cameron Mitchell, who brought us the entertaining Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the sombre and moving Rabbit Hole. Mitchell returns to the punk territory of the former, but unfortunately with less success.

We’re in Croydon in 1977. Punk is at its height and Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her silver jubilee. This choice of 1977 gives the director plenty of Union Jacks and street parties to set against the iconic Sex Pistols song and record cover, which he uses consistently throughout the film. Our hero is Enn (Alex Sharp): he’s being raised by his single mum, his jazz musician dad having abandoned the family ship years earlier. With his two best mates, the chubby and cerebral John (Ethan Lawrence) and the Billy Idol lookalike Vic (Abraham Lewis), the three schoolboys have embraced punk.

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