The Look of Love (film)

The Look of Love is a 2013 British biopic of Paul Raymond, directed by Michael Winterbottom. It stars Steve Coogan as Raymond. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 26 April 2013.

The Look of Love
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Winterbottom
Produced byMelissa Parmenter
Peter Hampden
Robin Guise
Peter Raven
Written byMatt Greenhalgh
Based onMembers Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond
by Paul Willetts
StarringSteve Coogan
Imogen Poots
Anna Friel
Tamsin Egerton
Music byAntony Genn
Martin Slattery
CinematographyHubert Taczanowski
Edited byMags Arnold
Distributed byStudioCanal UK
Release date
  • 26 April 2013 (2013-04-26)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$603,119[1]


The story opens in London in 1992. Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan) returns to his flat after attending the funeral of his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots). Raymond plays a videotape of a television programme he and Debbie took part in and reflects on their lives.

In a flashback to the end of the 1950s, Raymond is an impresario on the seaside variety show circuit, where he is making a name for himself by adding semi nude women to his stage acts. After a lion attacks the show's dancers, his wife Jean (Anna Friel) joins the show. When the Daily Sketch claims that Jean performed nude, Raymond sues the newspaper unsuccessfully but appreciates the ensuing publicity, after which Raymond launches his London strip club, the Raymond Revue Bar. Its success allows him to expand his property empire and also indulge in a playboy lifestyle, which his wife tolerates.

In the beginning of the 1970s, Raymond moves into theatrical revues and casts aspiring actress Amber St. George (Tamsin Egerton) in a nude revue. Raymond moves in with her and his marriage to Jean ends. Raymond also agrees to meet a grown son, Derry, he sired out of wedlock, but after an awkward dinner together, he gives Derry no more of his time. Tony Power is approached by Paul Raymond to run a men's magazine, Men Only.

Tony Power, who was only in his 20s at the time, was subsequently corrupted into a sleazy world by Paul Raymond, ending in his untimely demise. The magazine is a huge success, in part thanks to roving sex reporter Fiona Richmond, St. George's pseudonym. Raymond continues to enjoy a hedonistic, coke fuelled lifestyle. This becomes too much for St. George and their relationship ends.

Into this mix, his daughter Debbie is introduced. Initially, Raymond tries to make her a star in his theatrical ventures, but she lacks talent and the show is an unprecedented failure for her.

Debbie marries musician Jonathan Hodge. Jean returns for the wedding and volunteers to pose nude for Raymond's magazine. In the delivery room, Debbie gives birth to a girl after sniffing a line of coke that her father provides. She dies in 1992 of a heroin overdose.[2] After the funeral, Raymond returns home with his granddaughter, pointing out the property he owns that will someday belong to her.

An epilogue reveals that in December 1992, he was the richest man in Britain.


Production history

The Look of Love was originally called The King of Soho, until that title had to be dropped due to a legal dispute.[3]

Critical reception

The film received mixed reviews from critics. It holds an approval rating of 55% on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 71 collected reviews, with an average score of 5.7 out of 10. The site's consensus reads: "While it may not add up to the definitive Paul Raymond biopic -- or take full advantage of Steve Coogan's many gifts -- The Look of Love still proves an entertainingly old fashioned look at the Swinging London of the 1960s."[4]

It holds a Metacritic score of 57 out of 100, based on twenty sampled reviews, indicating "mixed to average reviews."[5] Imogen Poots was featured on the inaugural Guardian Film Awards longlist, nominated for Best Actor.[6] When the film was released in the United Kingdom, it opened on #7 with £208,557.[7]

References and notes

  2. "The Look of Love 2013 Review". Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  3. "Michael Winterbottom's 'King Of Soho' Faces Legal Challenge As Rival Project Mounts, Possibly Starring Tom Hiddleston". The Playlist. Indiewire. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  4. "The Look of Love (2013)". Flixster. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  5. "The Look of Love". CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  6. The awards are not separated by gender.
  7. "Weekend box office 26th April 2013 - 28th April 2013". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
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