The Look Of Love: Coogan Takes On The King Of Soho Sleaze

The Look Of Love is a British biopic about the life of pornography/ real estate mogul Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan), directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film charts his life, the highs and the lows, the trials and tribulations. It is a cautionary tale.

This film is a testament to having it all, but also being fundamentally empty. Raymond might be rich, but he isn’t happy, he is never happy. I think this film plays out almost like a tragedy because it shows us how this incredibly wealthy man is just trying to make himself feel something and he just can’t. I think this biopic could easily have just been showy and it is to an extent, I will get back to that, but more so it dives deep it analyse the mind of this man, that is what it sets out to do.

When I say this film is showy it is a critique. This film can be gratuitous at points, I understand the nature of Raymond’s work, but the nudity is constant and not really done in a tasteful way. It almost feels a bit creepy and voyeuristic at points, almost as though it is fantasy fulfilment. I understand that it was probably done to show how the character has everything, however, I thought it could have been done better.

Coogan is on top form here. He is trying to play the character in far more of a dramatic way than he normally does, there are a few comedic moments, but Coogan mostly plays the character straight and it works. Crucially the centrepiece of this film is Raymond’s relationship with his daughter (played by Imogen Poots), and I am glad to say that is strong. Both nails the drama and craft characters we end up caring about; even though they’re terrible people.

Overall, this is more thoughtful drama than comedy it is helped by great performances from Coogan and Poots but let down by over the top nudity.

Pros

Steve Coogan.

Nails the drama.

It makes you care about the characters.

The relationship between father and daughter.

Cons.

The nudity is too much.

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke   

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