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England Is Mine
Set before Steven Patrick Morrissey became the iconic lead singer of alternative rock band The Smiths, director Mark Gill's slow-burning biographical drama charts Morrissey's formative years as he wrestles with his demons in the bedroom of his parents' home in 1976 Manchester. Seventeen-year-old Steven (Jack Lowden) is stuck in a thankless office job while he dreams of making music, and channels his creative juices into penning waspish reviews for music weekly NME. His spunky best friend Anji (Katherine Pearce) grows tired of his endless self-doubt, and eventually leaves Steven to wallow in his misery while his despairing mother Elizabeth (Simone Kirby) contends with separation from her husband (Peter McDonald). A friendship with an artist called Linder Sterling (Jessica Brown Findlay) inspires Steven to publicly air his notebook of lyrics as lead singer of a newly formed band. An awkward romance with work colleague Christine (Jodie Comer) fails to excite the morose teenager and when his dreams of stardom crash and burn, he retreats back into his shell until he is offered a second chance at glory in another band with local lad Johnny Marr (Laurie Kynaston).