Bolan’s Shoes (12A) Close-Up Film Review

Dir: Ian Puleston-Davies, UK 2023, 97 mins.

Cast: Timothy Spall, Leanne Best, Eden Beach

Review by Carlie Newman

This is a rather strange and somewhat difficult to follow film. However, there are some good performances, particularly from Timothy Spall as Jimmy, a man who we first meet as a child.

The story moves around different timelines. In the 1970s we see excited children from a children’s home in Liverpool on a coach ready to go to a performance by rock star, Mike Bolan. Amongst the children is Penny, the daughter of the local vicar, who is leading the party. There is a terrible accident.

Then we switch to some of the children as adults in the present day. They have been traumatised by the events when they were children. Penny played by Eden Beach as a child and Leanne Best as the adult) is now married to a vicar. She visits the tomb of Marc Bolan in London on the anniversary of his death. There she sees a dishevelled man who turns out to be her great friend, Jimmy (Timothy Spall), who is very disturbed . She tries to help him.

There are very good performances from Spall and Best. Spall, unrecognisable in an extensive make up transformation, gives heart to an older man with mental health issues. While Best gives a moving and very truthful performance as a young woman who has made up a fictious story about herself.

Much super soundtrack with music by T.Rex and a good grasp of the period by director and writer, Ian Puleston-Davies, help to give the film an interesting background, and a glimpse of the period.