BEST TROUBLED SOUL
Sam Riley, “Control” (2007)
The industrial, post-punk music of Joy Division, and the despairing lyrics of frontman Ian Curtis in particular, might be the only things sadder than the weepy melodies of Morrissey and The Cure’s Robert Smith. Since his suicide at age 23, Curtis has been a poster child of emo angst, eulogized in several films, including 2002’s “24 Hours Party People” and the documentary “Joy Division.” “Control” delved much deeper into the unravelling personal life of Curtis, the script based on the 1995 memoir by his wife Deborah and directed by Anton Corbijn who photographed Joy Division in their brief two-year existence. Sam Riley plays Curtis with a pained gravitas as he emphatically explores a depression brought on by a troubled marriage and Curtis’s late battle with epilepsy. The troubled frontman was known for his robotic, flailing stage presence and Riley nails every one of his manic twists and jerks, but more importantly, Riley captured the anguished personality who swore never to live beyond his 20s.