First published by the Toronto International Film Festival by Michele Maheuxt ☛ British tenor Paul Potts‘s meteoric rise to stardom on Britain’s Got Talent dazzled audiences around the world in 2007. Yet there is much more to Potts’s story, one of arduous self-actualization and against-the- odds success. That story is the subject of David Frankel’s hugely charming and inspiring biopic, One Chance. One of four children born to a bus driver and a supermarket cashier, Paul (James Corden) grows up in Bristol listening to his parents’ opera records and discovering his vocal gift by singing in local choirs. He is also ruthlessly bullied, a devastating blow to his self-confidence alleviated only by his love of song.
But song wasn’t paying the bills, so Paul works as a mobile-phone salesman while performing in an amateur opera company. Though less than satisfying, life seems settled enough. Then Paul meets Julie-Ann (Alexandra Roach) on the internet. After a tentative courtship, the two fall deeply in love. Paul has almost everything a man could want, and yet he still seems to yearn. The tale of how Paul goes from unfulfilled everyman to media sensation is a testament to the human spirit and one of the most engaging true stories of our time.
Corden brings marvellous coherence to Potts’s turbulent trajectory of ambition and frustration, while Roach is just lovely as the partner whose unwavering belief helps see him through. One Chance is about more than one chance — it’s about a whole life spent preparing to make a dream come true. One Chance is set to open in the UK on October 25th. And in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, you can watch Potts’s now legendary performance of “Nessu Doma”, the aria from Puccini’s opera Turandot, in the video below.