Music Break: Hunky Dory (2011) featuring Minnie Driver & Aneurin Barnard

HunkyDoryMovieI have to admit I stumbled upon this movie as I’m currently besotted with this freakishly talented Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard. Yep, same guy who got me all obsessed with Richard III  😉

Having enjoyed Sing Street recently and the fact that this is from the creator of Billy Elliot, I knew I’d enjoy it. To be honest though, I actually never seen a single episode of Glee (never had much interest on it to be honest), and I haven’t seen School of Rock, two things which this movie has been compared to. But the fact that this is a British (Welsh to be exact) indie is always a major plus for me. I do love Minnie Driver and I love the idea of her as a sympathetic teacher.

Set in a small town in Wales in the summer of 1976, drama teacher Vivienne fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end-of-term version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

This movie didn’t quite have the exuberant, vivacious energy as Sing Street, but it does have a ton of awesome retro songs. This time it’s from the 70s, so we’ve got music from David Bowie, The Beach Boys, Jeff Lynne, 10CC, etc. The title is obviously named after Bowie’s album, but it’s also a British expression that means everything is just fine.

Check out some of my favorite musical scenes from the movie:

Based on the interview from SXSW, Aneurin said that all the musical segments were filmed live, so the kids really did play those instruments and the actors actually sang the songs. I love that authenticity, so the sound and performances feel organic and natural.

I’m glad Minnie also got to sing in the film. She’s a recording artist as well as an actor, and her voice is just lovely. She also sang the song in the end credits, Goin’ Back by Carole King.

This clip below has the song from pop-rock group The Turtles, sung by actor Tom Rhys Harries in the movie. There’s also a rendition of the late English singer Nick Drake’s Cello Song that Tom sang beautifully, but I can’t find the clip for it.


The 70s songs are just awesome, here are a couple more songs from the soundtrack that Aneurin sang:

Aneurin’s an Olivier-award-winning actor (for his performance in the West End’s Spring Awakening in 2010). It’s only a matter of time that Hollywood will discover him like Hiddles, Hardy, etc., but he’ll be seen in Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk so that’s a good start!

I wish I could see him perform live one day, he looks AND sounds like an angel!! The finale is awesome and it made me want to get up and cheer! I mean you can’t go wrong with Bowie, and the kids pretty much channeling the glam rock era with the boys wearing glitter and guyliners.

Check out the trailer of the movie, which you can rent on iTunes or HULU:


Hope you enjoyed this week’s music break! What do you think of the songs, which ones are your favorite?

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9 thoughts on “Music Break: Hunky Dory (2011) featuring Minnie Driver & Aneurin Barnard

  1. This has been on Starz recently. I’ll see if it will come back as I think I saw a scene where they did sing a Bowie song but I don’t know. I’ll check it out. After all, it’s named after my favorite Bowie album.

    1. It’s been out for a few years, interesting that Starz just picked it up. It’s worth seeing and the music segments are certainly a highlight.

  2. Cute. I love ELO and the kids’ rendition, Strange Magic, was good. I watched a segment piece on Mini Driver one Sunday on CBS and it featured her songwriting and singing abilities. I remember her as the diva from Phantom of the Opera and thought she had the best part in the whole film. Anyway, a Welsh version of Glee. Nice post, Ruth.

    1. I love Strange Magic and Aneurin actually sang parts of it several times in the beginning during a practice scene 😉 Yes Minnie is super talented, she’s awesome as the diva in POTO, though her voice was dubbed by an opera singer. She did sing the finale song ‘Learn to be lonely’ which was nominated for Oscar. Yep, the Welsh version of Glee, w/ a little School of Rock thrown in I think 😀

    1. Hey Keith! That’s exactly why I decided to do a post on it 🙂 I always love tiny British movies and underrated actors like Minnie Driver. Plus Aneurin, oh man the world needs to know who he is, he’ll be a big star one day! [fingers crossed] 😀

  3. Pingback: JUNE 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month

    1. Apparently it’s on Starz too as well as Hulu n iTunes Michael. It’s like a Welsh version of Glee with School of Rock thrown in. Now I’m humming Life on Mars constantly 😁

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