Morrissey 25: Live Review

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Capturing Morrissey in his element, appearing at Hollywood High School to mark 25 years since The Smiths, director James Russell's concert doc focuses firmly on the performer rather than the man.


Commemorating his 25th anniversary of not being in The Smiths anymore, the prickly poet laureate of the bedsit malcontent granted access to a recent gig in the fittingly municipal surroundings of the Hollywood High School. While director Russell’s boasts of elevating the convention of the concert movie to new cinematic heights are a little overegged, this is an imaginatively conveyed rock performance by an elusive icon.

The enigma of Morrissey is only redoubled by a stage presence at once ill at ease yet basking in the adoration of the mope papists of Los Angeles reaching rapture in the front row, word-perfect with every rhyming couplet. And when he opens his mouth and out pours the baroque comedy and fleeting melancholies of Everyday Is Like Sunday, Speedway, or Smiths’ relic The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, the world does feel like a more meaningful place.

Manna for Mozzer fans.