The Vernon Film Society begins its summer season with the inspirational film One Chance, the story of the meteoric rise to stardom of Paul Potts, winner of Britain’s Got Talent’s inaugural season in 2007.
As a child, Potts was obsessed with opera. He sang at the dinner table, in the shower, at school, and obviously, in the choir. However, his talent was not appreciated by his peers and the fact that he was overweight didn’t help.
As an adult, Potts worked in a cellphone store and dreamt of being an opera singer. His internet girlfriend convinced him to go to Venice and pursue his passion by attending a famed opera academy, where Potts had the opportunity to meet and sing for Pavarotti.
After a series of setbacks, Potts decided to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. The rest is history.
James Corden (who some will recognize as the new host of The Late, Late Show on CBS), delivers the goods as the put upon and painfully shy Potts. His scenes with Alexandra Roach, as girlfriend Julie-Ann Cooper, are wonderful.
The most interesting aspect of the film is the focus on Potts’ life in Wales before he travels to Italy. It’s a true fish-out-of-water tale as we watch how difficult it is for him to fit in with the blue-collar community that he’s a part of. His difficulty comes from within, however, as the community at large appreciates his talents and are actually quite supportive.
The tale of how Potts goes from an everyman to media sensation is a testament to the human spirit. And the singing, dubbed by the real Potts, is a delight, even for non-opera fans.
“You’d have to be totally cynical, with a heart of stone and ice water in your veins, not to be even the slightest bit charmed by One Chance,” said Christy Lemire, on rogerebert.com.
One Chance screens Monday, July 13 at the Vernon Towne Cinema at the regular times of 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are available one week ahead at the Towne and the Bean Scene for $7 (cash only).