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The Look of Love 

Directed by Michael Winterbottom (Mongrel)

21.35-look-of-love.jpg

A biopic of Paul Raymond---once the richest man in England---a guy who combined the talents of Flo Ziegfeld and Larry Flynt, building an empire on nude showgirls and skin magazines. Helmed by the provocative Winterbottom (responsible for 9 Songs and 24 Hour Party People) and starring Steve Coogan as Raymond, the film plays more conventional than sensational. As in Philomena, Coogan shelves his usual routine of barely concealed disgust with the world, but it leaves his self-styled “king of Soho” a bit hollow, especially in moments when we should be witness to some depth in his character, as in his relationship with his daughter and sometime business partner, Debbie (Imogen Poots). Even as a document of the rise of porn culture in the UK, The Look of Love remains remarkably flaccid.

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Vol 26, No 29
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