Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Kinky Boots (2005)
12aContains moderate sex references and one use of strong language

A well-worn genre gets, ahem, 'souled and healed' in British comedy Kinky Boots. Demonstrating a timelessness that Ugg boots can only envy, it's another take on that 'little guy surviving against the odds in slightly quirky circumstances' theme so beloved of British comedies. It's underpinned by a showstopping performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things) as a transvestite who inspires a line in shoes, and is more uplifting than a nine-inch stiletto.

Transvestism in the movies is rarely a pretty sight (cast your mind back to Patrick Swayze in To Wong Foo..., if you dare), so full marks to Ejiofor for making the character of Simon/Lola so well-rounded and uncaricatured. His cross-dressing creation provides the inspiration for Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton from Ned Kelly), a damp squib whose plans to escape provincial Northampton life are dealt a body blow when his father dies and he's stuck with an ailing shoe factory. Faced with cut-price competition from the Third World, Charlie needs to find a niche or lay off most of his staff. Step forward Lola and 'her' size nines...

"ONE OF THE BEST PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR"

It's no surprise to learn that Kinky Boots is from the same team who gave us Calendar Girls. Slick and impossible to dislike, it also presents a side of provincial British life rarely seen nowadays: that of the frustrated dreamer. Australian actor Edgerton does just enough to convince as a Midlander, but this is ultimately Ejiofor's parade. He takes you beneath Lola's sequins and delivers one of the best performances of the year. Don't miss it.

End Credits

Director: Julian Jarrold

Writer: Geoff Deane, Tim Firth

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joel Edgerton, Sarah-Jane Potts, Nick Frost, Linda Bassett

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Length: 106 minutes

Cinema: 07 October 2005

Country: UK

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