Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll abound in Stephen Woolley's highly entertaining Stoned, about Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones. The guitarist's wild and wicked ways - offspring by five different women and a drug habit which makes Pete Doherty look like Cliff Richard - is stylishly captured, as are the final few months in Jones' increasingly screwed-up life. Leo Gregory (Green Street) delivers a charismatic turn as the man who really made the 60s swing before becoming rock'n'roll's first lifestyle casualty.
Stoned is most definitely not a biopic about the Stones themselves. Mick'n'Keef are supporting players here, and the film isn't even that interested in Brian's music (Jones was a prodigious talent, playing at least 30 instruments). In essence it's a case study of the haves and have nots in 60s Britain, pitting middle class Brian against working class Frank Thoroughgood (Paddy Considine). As Frank and his team tackle the never-ending task of rebuilding Brian's house (at Pooh Corner - it was formerly owned by AA Milne), the builder gradually becomes seduced by Jones' lifestyle. Until, that is, the cash starts to dry up...
"A CELEBRATION OF A WASTED TALENT"
If you can remember the 60s, as the cliché goes, you weren't there. Luckily Stephen Woolley has lots of iconic movies to act as memory aids, and a great soundtrack that references Jones' blues influences. Witty - the script is by Bond scribes Purves and Wade - and thoroughly engrossing, Stoned is ultimately a celebration of a wasted talent who lived fast, died young and left a beautiful corpse. Here's one rock pic that won't fade away.