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Harry Styles is SLAMMED as ‘criminally bad’ in My Policeman by underwhelmed critics

Harry Styles has been slammed as ‘criminally bad’ and ‘not very arresting’ in My Policeman by underwhelmed critics as disappointing reviews flood in after its release.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of My Policeman, which sees Harry, 28, star as police officer Tom and Emma Corrin as his wife Marion.

The plot focuses on Tom, who is gay, but married Marion due to expectations. He goes on to enjoy a romance with museum curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson).

Oh dear: Harry Styles has been slammed as ‘criminally bad’ and ‘not very arresting’ in My Policeman by underwhelmed critics as disappointing reviews flood in after its release

However, critics have been left unimpressed by the hotly-anticipated period drama, awarded it mere two and three-star reviews and blasted Harry’s performance in the leading role.

The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner slammed the singer-turned-actor’s role as ‘not very arresting’ as he appeared underwhelmed by the film, giving it a mere two-star review.

Despite boasting a star-studded cast including Rupert Everett, Gina McKee and Linus Roache, the film critic said the attention the movie is receiving is does not live up to its quality.

‘The attention Michael Grandage’s film is getting, way out of proportion with its quality, is due to its male lead, the pop superstar Harry Styles,’ he penned.

Hotly-anticipated: Fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of My Policeman, which sees Harry, 28, star as police officer Tom and Emma Corrin as his wife Marion

Hotly-anticipated: Fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of My Policeman, which sees Harry, 28, star as police officer Tom and Emma Corrin as his wife Marion 

Brian went on to say that when he watched the period drama at London Film Festival, it was met with ‘lively audience mirth’ by the audience, despite the fact that the film is not ‘meant to be funny’.

He also criticised Harry’s ‘lumpen’ performance and the ‘watery’ script penned by Ron Nyswaner and adapted from Bethan Roberts’s 2012 novel.

He concluded: ‘[My Policeman] was received with lively audience mirth, although it isn’t meant to be funny. 

‘But Styles’ acting is so lumpen and the script by Ron Nyswaner, Oscar-nominated for Philadelphia (1993), so watery, to say nothing of the mysterious way in which Tom seems to have developed a northern accent growing up on the south coast, that laughter, at times, is really the only refuge.’

Drama: The plot focuses on Tom, who is gay, but married Marion due to expectations. He goes on to enjoy a romance with museum curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson)

Drama: The plot focuses on Tom, who is gay, but married Marion due to expectations. He goes on to enjoy a romance with museum curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson) 

The Independent’s Jessie Thompson gave an equally devastating review, pouncing on Harry’s ‘criminally bad’ leading role as Tom in the ‘clunky’ period drama.

After his mixed reviews for his performance in Don’t Worry Darling, the critic said that his leading male role in My Policeman left him ‘overexposed as an actor’.

‘Harry Styles plays an officer of the law in 1950s Brighton – which is ironic, because his acting is criminally bad,’ she penned.

‘He does not have to say anything, but anything he does say will be delivered as though he read it on a piece of paper five minutes previously.’

Unimpressed: However, critics have been left unimpressed by the hotly-anticipated period drama, awarded it mere two and three-star reviews and blasted Harry's performance

Unimpressed: However, critics have been left unimpressed by the hotly-anticipated period drama, awarded it mere two and three-star reviews and blasted Harry’s performance

Jessie said it is a ‘travesty’ that a ‘powerful’ leading performance could have elevated the film to ‘a superior category’ before going on to address Emma’s role in the film.

She said Emma, who uses they/them pronouns, did ‘well with what little they are given to do’ and praised David Dawson for his ‘excellent’ performance as museum curator Patrick.

‘I just kept thinking about what a film it could have been with a truly electric lead performance. Without one, it just doesn’t work,’ she concluded in the two-star review. 

Elsewhere, The Guardian awarded My Policeman with a more generous three-star rating and described Harry’s performance as ‘better’ than in Don’t Worry Darling.

Blasted: The Daily Mail's Brian Viner slammed the singer-turned-actor's role as 'not very arresting' as he appeared underwhelmed by the film, giving it a mere two-star review

Blasted: The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner slammed the singer-turned-actor’s role as ‘not very arresting’ as he appeared underwhelmed by the film, giving it a mere two-star review

MY POLICEMAN: WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING  

The Daily Mail

Rating:

Brian Viner slammed Harry Styles’ role in My Policeman as ‘not very arresting’ as he appeared underwhelmed by the film, giving it a mere two-star review.

He concluded: ‘[My Policeman] was received with lively audience mirth, although it isn’t meant to be funny. 

‘But Styles’ acting is so lumpen and the script by Ron Nyswaner, Oscar-nominated for Philadelphia (1993), so watery, to say nothing of the mysterious way in which Tom seems to have developed a northern accent growing up on the south coast, that laughter, at times, is really the only refuge.’

The Independent

Rating:

Critic Jessie Thompson gave an equally devastating review, pouncing on Harry’s ‘criminally bad’ leading role as Tom in the ‘clunky’ period drama.

‘Harry Styles plays an officer of the law in 1950s Brighton – which is ironic, because his acting is criminally bad,’ she penned.

‘He does not have to say anything, but anything he does say will be delivered as though he read it on a piece of paper five minutes previously.’

The Guardian

Rating:

The Guardian awarded My Policeman with a more generous three-star rating and described Harry’s performance as ‘better’ than in Don’t Worry Darling.

‘Harry Styles is not at all a bad actor, better than he was in Don’t Worry Darling, with a rather assured on-camera presence,’ he wrote.

‘His line-readings are a bit decelerated, perhaps as a result of coaching, but he has an interestingly melodious delivery. It reminds me a little of Mick Jagger’s movie acting.’

The Times

Rating:

Film critic Tim Robey did not appear overly impressed by My Policeman, giving it a mere two-star review and deeming Harry’s performance as ‘far from arresting’.

He penned: ‘First there was his waxily robotic husband in Don’t Worry Darling, and now we’re stuck with his frustrating immaturity in My Policeman, the effortfully glum tale of a bisexual bobby in the homophobic 1950s.’

The Financial Times

Rating:

The FT awarded My Policeman with a three-star review but said the period drama ‘missed the mark’ at reflecting on society before homosexuality was decriminalised.

‘Styles isn’t actively awful here, just rather inadequate when it comes to playing anything much more than the pretty pouting object of two rivals’ desires,’ Leslie Felperin said.

‘With homophobic hate crimes rising, now is an apt time to remind viewers of how awful life was before homosexual relations were decriminalised, yet somehow My Policeman misses its polemical mark.’

The New York Times

The publication described the period drama as a ‘disappointment’ and said director Michael Grandage failed to ‘animate’ the emotional story.

The review read: ‘Grandage struggles with animating such a dismal treatment of gay history.’

‘The stately treatment of their plight leads to a film that buckles under the weight of purgatorial disappointment,’ it added.

 

Peter Bradshaw praised the star for his ‘assured’ on-camera presence and gave credit to the period drama for reflecting on what society was like in the 1950s.

‘Harry Styles is not at all a bad actor, better than he was in Don’t Worry Darling, with a rather assured on-camera presence,’ he wrote.

‘His line-readings are a bit decelerated, perhaps as a result of coaching, but he has an interestingly melodious delivery. It reminds me a little of Mick Jagger’s movie acting.’

He added: ‘The film shows how much in this era depended on the importance of discretion, the grim hypocrisy dance of knowing and not knowing.’

But The Times did not appear overly impressed by My Policeman, giving it a mere two-star review and deeming Harry’s performance as ‘far from arresting’.

Film critic Tim Robey blasted Harry as the most ‘jejune’ of the six leading stars of My Policeman, comparing his performance to his other leading role in Don’t Worry Darling, where he starred alongside Florence Pugh.

He penned: ‘First there was his waxily robotic husband in Don’t Worry Darling, and now we’re stuck with his frustrating immaturity in My Policeman, the effortfully glum tale of a bisexual bobby in the homophobic 1950s.’

Meanwhile, the New York Times described the period drama as a ‘disappointment’ and said director Michael Grandage failed to ‘animate’ the emotional story.

Not impressed: But The Times did not appear overly impressed by My Policeman, giving it a mere two-star review and deeming Harry's performance as 'far from arresting'

Not impressed: But The Times did not appear overly impressed by My Policeman, giving it a mere two-star review and deeming Harry’s performance as ‘far from arresting’

However, Teo Bugbee did give credit to the director for his ‘smart’ use of set and costumes to show class differences between the characters. 

The review read: ‘The director Michael Grandage smartly uses sets and costumes to emphasize the class differences between the characters. 

‘But Grandage struggles with animating such a dismal treatment of gay history.’

‘The stately treatment of their plight leads to a film that buckles under the weight of purgatorial disappointment,’ it added.

The Financial Times awarded My Policeman with a three-star review but said the period drama ‘missed the mark’ at reflecting on society before homosexuality was decriminalised.

It’s here: The movie, which arrived in UK cinemas on Friday, is set in Brighton in the 1950s, and based on Bethan Roberts’ novel 

Commenting on Harry’s acting, Leslie Felperin said although he has shown a talent for ‘screen sex acting’ he was ‘inadequate’ in his leading role.

‘Styles isn’t actively awful here, just rather inadequate when it comes to playing anything much more than the pretty pouting object of two rivals’ desires,’ she said.

‘With homophobic hate crimes rising, now is an apt time to remind viewers of how awful life was before homosexual relations were decriminalised, yet somehow My Policeman misses its polemical mark.’

My Policeman’s plot focuses on police officer Tom (Harry), who is gay, but married to Marion (Emma) due to expectations. He goes on to enjoy a romance with museum curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson).

Looking back: The 2012 novel explores the sexual mores of the 1950s and the criminalisation of homosexuality 

The movie, which arrived in UK cinemas on Friday, is set in Brighton in the 1950s, and based on Bethan Roberts’ novel.

Harry reportedly filmed sex scenes with co-star David in the upcoming LGBT romance.

An insider said: ‘Harry will be having sex on screen and they want it to look as real as possible. The plan is to shoot two romps between Harry and David, then another scene where Harry is naked on his own.’

A source added to The Sun: ‘Not much is going to be left to the imagination. Harry is throwing himself into this new role and is really excited about the challenge, even though it’s a daunting task.

Intimate moments: Harry reportedly filmed sex scenes with co-star David in the upcoming LGBT romance 

Project: The Amazon Studios production is being directed by Michael Grandage, and it was shot from April 12 on locations in London and the South-East coast

Project: The Amazon Studios production is being directed by Michael Grandage, and it was shot from April 12 on locations in London and the South-East coast

‘He always wants to do things that people wouldn’t expect and challenge what people think about him — and this film will really do that.’

Rupert Everett appears as the older version of Patrick in the film, while Harry is replaced by Linus Roache for scenes set years after their affair began.

Golden Globe winner Emma’s character is taken over by Gina McKee later in the film.

The 2012 novel explores the sexual mores of the 1950s and the criminalisation of homosexuality.

The Amazon Studios production was directed by Michael Grandage, and it was shot from April 12 on locations in London and the South-East coast, while the more intimate moments were filmed at one of the big film studios.

Plot: Rupert Everett (pictured in May 2022) will appear as the older version of Patrick in the film, while the former One Direction artist will be replaced by Linus Roache

Plot: Rupert Everett (pictured in May 2022) will appear as the older version of Patrick in the film, while the former One Direction artist will be replaced by Linus Roache

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