For a generation of disaffected teens, Morrissey was the patron saint of pop melancholy. Now, decades after the Smiths called it quits, a new biopic looks at the queer singer’s early life.
Set in 1970s Manchester, England is Mine premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and opens in the U.S. on August 24. Dunkirk actor Jack Lowden plays the young Steven Patrick Morrissey, a would-be pop idol working in his local tax agency and dreaming of stardom. (The film’s title comes from a line in the Smiths song “Still Ill”: “England is mine and it owes me a living.”)
Jessica Brown Findlay co-stars in the film as Linder Sterling, an artist who encourages his dreams, with Laurie Kynaston as future Smiths co-founder Johnny Marr.
Director Mark Gill earned an Oscar nomination in 2014 for his short film The Voorman Problem, a dark comedy starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander.
England is Mine is an unauthorized biopic, but fans can get the latest output from the real Morrissey on November 17, when his new album, Low in High-School, comes out. The album, his first in three years, marks a new partnership with BMG and the launch of Morrissey’s new label, Etienne Records.
A special five-LP box set of The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead will be out October 20.