Bolan’s Shoes – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Timothy Spall, Leanne Best

Bolan's Shoes Bolan’s Shoes, the footwear of which, makes for a rather tenuous link to give this British film more gravitas than it deserves.

Siblings Jimmy (Timothy SpallAway, The Sixth Commandment) and Penny (Leanne BestA Town Called Malice) – the former of whom is not very well, and describes himself as a “bipolar schizophrenic” – are obsessed with the late Marc Bolan and the music of T-Rex. On the anniversary of his death, people travel to his shrine, with Penny and a friend releasing doves, while Jimmy – looking more like Roy Wood from Wizzard than anyone else – is blowing huge bubbles. This follows on from a schooltrip to see T-Rex in concert, in Liverpool – during which said shoes are swiped from their dressing room – but which also results in a serious coach crash that has serious consequences for some.

In the years which have passed, Jimmy has always felt responsible, but was he? Either way, he was locked up in institutions over time, while Penny, married to vicar Geraint (Mark Lewis JonesThe Pact), has her own demons to reveal.

Living in Anglesey, Wales, Penny is thought of as having an Liverpool accent by the wives of other vicars, but she claims not to… when it’s as clear as a bell!

With some Welsh dialogue, which is subtitled in English, the script for Bolan’s Shoes all feels very bitty, like a 45-minute TV drama strung out to 90 minutes plus credits, as it includes a brief trip for Jimmy and Penny back to Liverpool for a day out, as well as Mathew Horne’s Jez taking advantage of Jimmy in a rather unpleasant scene. How this ended up on the big screen, I’ll never know,as there’s not much of a story here.

Between Jimmy and Penny, each have one of his shoes, but put them together and they’re a right pair! In fact, the Marc Bolan link is a very sparse one on which to hang the film on, as there’s barely any of his music in this. But… if writer/director Ian Puleston-Davies (The Teacher) was just to call this “Penny’s Secret (and she’s a Bolan fan)”, it wouldn’t have got the media attention it didn’t deserve.

And for some stupid reason, albeit destined for the cinema, it’s been shot in 2.00:1, so it gets projected in the same way as a flat 1.85:1 movie with black bars top and bottom. When displayed on a 2.39:1 screen, which is the majority of the auditoriums in my local Odeon, you’re left with black bars all around, since their automated system can only switch between 1.85:1 and 2.39:1, with no-one looking to make manual adjustments for films like this, given that projectors are set up on a schedule, and then basically left to run themselves throughout the day.

That’s aside from any time there’s a Christopher Nolan movie like Oppenheimer, and Vue cracks out the 70mm IMAX projector.

Bolan’s Shoes is in cinemas now, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

Bolan’s Shoes – Official Trailer

Detailed specs:

Running time: 95 minutes
Release date: September 15th 2023
Studio: Buffalo Dragon Films and Munro Films
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 2/10

Director: Ian Puleston-Davies
Producers: Greg Barrow, Terri Dwyer, Dean Fisher
Screenplay: Ian Puleston-Davies
Music: Ian Arber

Jimmy: Timothy Spall
Penny: Leanne Best
Geraint: Mark Lewis Jones
Jez: Mathew Horne
Zoe: Holli Dempsey
The Vicar: Andrew Lancel
Simon: Louis Emerick
Tracey: Saffron Rose
Delyth: Ruby Snape
Gillian: Terri Dwyer
Janice: India Sienna Rose Williams
Glyn: Sion Tudor Owen
Steffan: Dyfan Dwyfor
Eleri: Sarah John
Marc Bolan: Phil Furlong
Young Jimmy: Isaac Lancel-Watkinson
Tommo: Alfie Donnahey
Kev: Alfie Paley
Young Penny: Eden Beach
Young Sadie: Amelia Rose Smith
Mister Handsome: Peter Parker Mensah
Dilys: Ceri Bostock
Kathleen Collins: Freya Jones
Police Officer : Iago Patrick McGuire
Gwenda: Anthea Carpenter-Procter
Cadfan: Cadfan Roberts