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"One Chance": A Cinderella Story, But About Opera, and in Front of a National Audience 

Tuesday, Oct 7 2014
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Susan Boyle is by far the most famous plus-size Briton to became a surprise sensation on Britain's Got Talent, thanks to proving that people who aren't conventionally attractive can still sing beautifully, but she wasn't the first. David Frankels' One Chance is a biopic of Paul Potts (James Corden), an average chubby British guy with lifelong aspirations to become an opera singer, and with the pipes to match his ambitions. After a lifetime of setbacks, disappointments, and being stymied by his own lack of courage, he finally hits it big on the telly in what would feel like a deus ex machina if it hadn't actually happened in real life. One Chance is the rare biopic presented as a comedy, possibly because even with the happy ending, playing it straight would be too depressing, particularly in its view of modern British masculinity: Well into adulthood Paul is terrorized by a bully who beats him up for being an opera-loving poofter, while Paul's father (Colm Meaney) wants him to work in the dark satanic mills like a real man. One Chance's heart is Paul's relationship with his girlfriend and eventual wife, Julz (Alexandra Roach), whom we're told is plain-looking but is in fact quite lovely, because there are some rules of moviemaking you just don't break.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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