It´s Lancashire/England in 1974. John Clark (Elliot James Langridge) is a young misfit feeling lonely, angry and dreams of belonging to something real and authentic that will get him out of the small town slump. When he finally goes to the local youth club pushed by his mother, he bumps into Matt (Josh Whitehouse), a young misfit as well with a true love for Northern soul. Matt´s dream is to go to America and discover super rare records which will help him become the best DJ on the Northern Soul scene in England. John and Matt becomes instant friends and quickly they both share the same passion for Northern Soul. Their dance and amphetamine fuelled quest brings them into contact with some of the darker elements of the scene that truly tests their friendship to its limits…

“Northern Soul” was a 15-year labour of love for writer/director Elaine Constantine that experienced real difficulties getting off the ground. Turned down by all the major funding bodies, key festivals and institutional production partners in the UK, the film was eventually funded through a mix of private investors and Constantine’s substantial personal investment. The film was eventually picked up for distribution by Universal Pictures who sub-licensed the theatrical release to Munro Film Services. Despite only being given a 3 day theatrical window and a limited marketing campaign the film went on to become the widest short-window release to date in the UK according to its producers. Initially expected to open on 6-14 screens nationally, the film opened on 89 screens on its opening night @ 120 screens across its opening weekend. With 97/98% seat occupancy across 235 individual screenings these were enough to propel the film into the box office top 10 for its opening weekend. The film has had a warm reception with the public and critics alike. On publication of early projections for the number of independent screens due to to take the film, social media groups sprang up campaigning for the film to come to their local cinema. This grass roots pressure on local indie screens, which included 23 Ourscreen bookings; the committed efforts of Munro Film Services and a growing media interest in the film’s progress saw distribution snowball to the levels above.To date the film has screened in nearly 300 separate cinemas and other venues in the UK. Mark Kermode of The Guardian was one of several critics who gave the film 4 stars, saying of the film: “Constantine catches the energy of the dancehall with aplomb, transporting her audiences from the empty floors of dour neighbourhood youth clubs to the throng of the Wigan Casino with urgent ease. Steve Coogan and Ricky Tomlinson add sly cameo support. Definitely worth a spin”.

Northern Soul is a genre I have discovered the past years and I honestly believe that it´s one of the greatest music scenes to dance to. So getting to see how it “looked and felt” back in the days through “Northern Soul” is something I appreciate. The film has a great authentic feeling and the music that is the centre piece gets your energy going together with John and Matt as they dance their days away. The movie has a great balance between humour, love, drama, music, dance and how it is to be young and longing to belong to something. I love the very specific Northern Soul dance routine and the outfits. But, I did feel however that “Northern Soul” didn´t lift to the heights I believe it actually could´ve done. I´m not sure what´s missing, but I reckon the general vibe could´ve been tweeked a bit more by Elaine Constantine to make it really stick in your mind. (3 and a half out of 5)

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