Telstar (Telstar: The Joe Meek Story)
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Adapted from Nick Moran and James Hicks' critically-lauded stage play, Telstar tells the remarkable tale of eccentric, London-based songwriter/producer Joe Meek (Con O'Neill), whose innovative recording techniques ushered in a bold new era of rock 'n' roll in the late 1950s. Tone deaf and musically illiterate, Meek nevertheless had a lifelong obsession with music and a knack for producing. Though Meek's tireless work ethic ensured a tumultuous relationship with his band, his ramshackle, apartment recording studio provided just enough space to record, and experiment with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Even if 'Telstar' can't quite get the measure of its fascinating material, its pluck and ambition prove infectious enough to outweigh its flaws."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Nick Moran definitely emphasizes certain characteristics of the idiosyncratic producer over others for affect, but this is still as fascinating portraits in parts."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Nick Moran's film, based on the stage-play he wrote with James Hicks, is an eccentric, sometimes underpowered but always watchable story about the early-60s prehistory of pop culture."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Like Meek himself, Telstar draws you in despite its its imperfections, which don't detract too much from a bold take on an undertold and fascinating story."
‑ Mayer Nissim, Digital Spy
"Moran's film is not empty nostalgia. It is not The Boat That Rocked. It should be filed alongside Stephen Frears' Joe Orton biopic, Prick Up Your Ears, because its breezy exterior conceals a thoughtful consideration of a strange moment in British pop."
‑ Alastair McKay, Uncut Magazine [UK]
"Fairly crackles with character and period flavor for its first 90 minutes but is let down by a repetitive and tiresomely maudlin final half-hour."
‑ Derek Elley, Variety
"Telstar is an embarrassing farrago, an amateurish, incoherent pantomime of a piece, stuffed with interchangeable characters, a sketchy, largely unsympathetic leading role, and - betraying its stage play origins - unspeakably stilted dialogue."
‑ Ali Catterall, Film4
"The Meek they present is closer to being a character in Little Britain than the mysterious, proto-avant-garde sonic scientist revered by legions of contemporary electronic musicians. A little more weirdness would have been very welcome."
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"It's a solidly-made, enjoyable story that manages to rope in some notable cameos (can anyone spot Jimmy Carr) and shows Moran is a name to watch as a director."
‑ Rob Daniel, Sky Movies
"Like Meek's music, it's not much good and definitely not sophisticated, but I enjoyed it."
‑ Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail [UK]
"An overlong but fascinating look at the life of a forgotten innovator of early rock'n roll"
‑ Roger Moore, Movie Nation
"This is Meek's show, and as a wild and hostile central character (the bellowed phrase "F*** off" is never far from his lips) he is likely to fascinate and alienate in equal measure."
‑ Kevin Maher, Times [UK]
"O'Neill's performance is spellbinding, with Moran commendably allowing the actor the necessary time and space on the screen to believably cast his darkness upon those around him."
‑ Kingsley Marshall, Little White Lies
"Clumsily plotted and psychologically messy as it is, Moran's pop biopic is a ripe bustle of business, given substance and conviction by well-rooted performances."
‑ Kevin Harley, Total Film
"Telstar is a rambling, chaotic mess that's got missed opportunity written all over it."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Mirror [UK]
More reviews for Telstar (Telstar: The Joe Meek Story) on Rotten Tomatoes