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Film / Hunky Dory

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A 2011 independent musical film starring Minnie Driver and Aneurin Barnard.

In the summer of 1976, a British drama teacher attempts to motivate her apathetic students by staging a rock musical version of The Tempest. The movie follows both the struggles of the embattled teacher as well as the many dramas that befall the adolescent stars of the play.

Not to be confused with the David Bowie album Hunky Dory that the film was named after.

Hunky Dory provides examples of...

  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Evan.
  • Heat Wave: Truth in Television, since the summer of 1976 provided the hottest temperatures on record in the United Kingdom.
  • Hippie Teacher: Viv attempts to rile kids up about Shakespeare using popular '70s music. Need we say more?
  • House Fire: The school burns to the ground, threatening the production of the play. Instead, they put it on outdoors, which makes for an even more magical experience.
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • Mandy pines after Evan, who's secretly gay.
    • Evan himself longs for Davy, who's straight.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Kenny's family and potentially Kenny himself.
  • Mood Lighting: The film illustrates the summer heat with rich, warm honey tones and and a few cool blues.
  • The Musical Musical
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Most of the film is washed out in a beautiful gold, but scenes of the play are a soft blue, ostensibly to go along with the aquatic theme of the source material.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Kenny faces intense pressure from home to become a racist skinhead.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Miss Valentine, the Apathetic Teacher to Viv's cool one, not only ridicules Viv's whimsical attempts to inspire the students but is explicitly classist towards the working-class, many of whom comprise the school.
  • Pretty Boy:
    • Davy possesses an ethereal beauty, complete with high cheekbones, curly hair, delicate green eyes (which Tim acknowledges are very dreamy) and a round, gentle face. When Davy wears make-up while performing in his school's play/musical, his androgynous appearance is devastatingly gorgeous.
    • Evan's youthful, boyish good looks no doubt contribute to his popularity as well.
  • Save Our Students: Viv tries her best.
  • School of No Studying: The students either appear to be working on the play or dealing with the numerous issues in their personal lives.
  • School Play: The Tempest, duh.
  • Shout-Out: Davy's costume in the finale was heavily inspired by Adam Ant's Iconic Outfit.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Davy and Viv get uncomfortably close. He misguidedly pursues the affections of his drama teacher after being rejected by his classmate Stella. When Davy wanders into Viv's bedroom, she invites him to sit next to her on the bed, and then she kisses him on the lips. The film mostly leaves the two in a state of Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Wrongly Accused: Because he's a misfit loner, Kenny is accused of committing the arson that destroyed the school.