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One Chance

“You’d have to be totally cynical, with a heart of stone and ice water in your veins, not to be even the slightest bit charmed by “One Chance.”

“It’s based on the true story of unlikely opera singer Paul Potts, the schlubby car phone salesman who won the first season of Britain’s Got Talent. The YouTube clip of the shy, portly Potts walking on stage for his audition, opening his snaggletoothed mouth and blowing the judges away with his enormous tenor voice has more than 128 million views.

“It’s a familiar British comedy along the lines of “The Full Monty,” and “Billy Elliot” with its working-class setting, eccentric supporting characters, dryly self-deprecating humor and ultimately uplifting conclusion. This workmanlike underdog tale from director David Frankel is winning, mostly thanks to an irresistible lead performance from James Corden. “One Chance” is a great showcase for his likable persona.

“As a kid, Potts was bullied routinely for his awkwardness and his sophisticated musical tastes. As an adult living at home with his parents he still gets bullied. Potts suffers a number of failures and embarrassments throughout the years leading up to his big breakthrough, “One Chance” is actually more about the ups and downs he endured prior to the 2007 “Britain’s Got Talent” audition, with the tryout itself serving as an inevitable endnote. Whether you’ve never seen it before or you’ve seen it a million times, the goose bumps are undeniable. You may as well just give in.” - Christy Lemire

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