The music of the Glam Rock era underscores this remarkable film, from its hard-driving, penetrating heavy metal
to the wrenching ballads reminiscent of torch songs. However, look to the spectacularly delivered imagery for
Velvet Goldmine’s real strength.
The film looks at the rise and fall of glam rock through the eyes of a journalist using one self-destructive
musician as the everyman pop-idol (forgive the oxymoron, please) representing a generation of gender bending
rebels. The visual presentation captures the figurative and literal glitter with the angst that exists in the
faces, music and life of the artists and their hangers-on.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers delivers a powerful performance as the fictional and somewhat mythical Bryan Slade, but the
other actors hit the right supporting notes. Ewan McGregor is particularly magnetic, sometimes painfully
Director Todd Haynes does a superb job of holding together the contradictory threads running through this fine
film. He makes sure that each part complements the whole in this three movement symphony.