Telstar, Nick Moran, 119 mins, (15)

Starring Con O'Neill, Pam Ferris, Kevin Spacey, James Corden
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The Independent Culture

Joe Meek was the pioneering pop producer best remembered for the ghostly early Sixties twanger "Telstar", the inspiration of a troubled genius, according to the first-time director Nick Moran.

In Con O'Neill's energetic performance Meek is a bumptious, gay, pill-popping dynamo, his charm and his finances dangerously poised on a knife-edge: flushed with success, he alienated those closest to him, including songwriter (Tom Burke), drummer (James Corden) and old-school moneyman (Kevin Spacey, miscast), and gave too much rope to gormless protege Heinz (J J Feild). Worse, he lost his ear for a hit (both The Beatles and Tom Jones got short shrift) and became increasingly delusional. Like his American contemporary Phil Spector, whom he accused of stealing his ideas, he ended up isolated and sadly trigger-happy. Some nice moments, though not all that convincing in its lament for a great lost talent.