Ian Hart does it his way
J. Bates | Arlington, VA United States | 08/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ian Hart is always an amazing performer, and this role is no exception. This is the story of Toni Cocozza, a small-time Scootish crooner with dreams of being the next Sinatra. It looks like he might finally be catching a break when he catches the eye of a "prominent local businessman" and meets the girl of dreams but nothing is ever that easy and he finds he has to earn his keep among in his new circle, much to the horror of his true friends. There is not a bad performance in the film. Kelly Macdonald, Alun Armstrong and Brian Cox portray their characters wonderfully, but it is ultimately Ian Hart's movie and he doesn't disappoint. I also think he sings quite well. Technically, there are no extras on the DVD which is a bit frustrating, but what can you do?"
Strictly for Ian Hart Fans
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 12/12/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ian Hart, so convincing as John Lennon in "Backbeat," plays again a singer. He is Toni Cocozza, a Glaswegian crooner who sings only the songs of Sinatra (hence, the title). He dreams of being like Sinatra, but it is painfully obvious that he lacks something that will make him a star.But one day he accidentally gets acquainted with the local mobsters, after singing "In the Ghetto," much against his original intention. Anyway, Toni thinks this could be oppotunity for him, for Chisholm, one of the gangsters (played by Brian Cox) is interested in him, not as a singer maybe, but who cares? And Chisholm says he met Frank in person, which draws this naive, starrey-eyed Toni into underworld.The film shows some good characters, including Toni, Chesholm, and Toni's girlfriend Irene (played by wonderful Kelly MacDonald "Trainspotting"). And the film has very moody atmosphere. The acting is good, though the singing is not, because the point is, Toni is not supposed to be a big timer.But the most disappointing thing is its very conventional story and lack of power at many crutial moments of Toni's life. Toni is involved in many crimes, about which he shows little concern or interest. Ian Hart's deft performance cannot help the film from being just another ordinary UK gangster film.This is not a Frank Sinatra film, or about jazz singer for that matter. Consider this an off-beat gangster drama, and you might find it interesting.See Richard E Grant who briefly appears as himself."