Is this film gorgeous or what? What else would you expect, of course, from Anton Corbijn, who surprisingly didn't act as his own DP here. I cannot find a right picture to illustrate it, but his compositions are amazingly simple, so stark, yet they work beautifully.
I almost can't believe Sam Riley is a first time actor: he's great here. I'm not even talking about the mimicry - I'm not very familiar with Joy Division and until I searched youtube fifteen minutes ago, I'd never seen Ian Curtis dance - but simply about the intensity of his portrayal, the openness, too. The tragedy of Curtis' life is that it really wasn't all that tragic, but he couldn't take it, and Riley shows us the little boy he really still was. When he was my age, he was already married, with a kid, a band to lead and a lover. All of this happened more or less impulsively. Then, when he was one year older, he had one fatal impulse.
I only have one gripe, really, and it's not even the predictable rise-and-fall structure inherent in biopics. There is one scene where Ian Curtis is -more or less- hypnotized, and Corbijn unfortunately resorts to the old method of repeating phrases he heard before in voice-over. It's such an unfortunate trick, and the scene would have been much more effective had we been able to fill in his thoughts ourselves: we've heard what's been said to him, it's even been filtered for us since this is a film, and we really don't need to be told explicitly what's in his head.
Ok. I'm off to download Joy Division songs now.