One Chance

Poster for One Chance

Summer 2015 Features series

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 8:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by David Frankel

Screenplay by Justin Zackham

Starring James Corden, Alexandra Roach, and Julie Walters

Rated PG · 1h 43m

View trailer

Before Susan Boyle there was Paul Potts, a schlubby car-phone salesman from Wales who blew Simon Cowell and his fellow judges away on the first episode of Britain’s Got Talent with his rendition of Puccini’s aria “Nessun Dorma”.  The son of a steelworker with a chipped front tooth and the voice of an angel won that first season of the reality show, but his progression through the competition is just an afterthought in One Chance, the story of his life leading to the life-changing moment that has been viewed more than 110 million times on YouTube. (See the original audition video here.)

Paul (James Corden, Begin Again) actually gets several chances to pursue his passion: studying in Venice, where he chokes during a master class with his idol, Luciano Pavarotti; scoring the lead in an amateur production of Aida only to be struck with appendicitis and a tumour on his thyroid; regaining his voice months later only to suffer massive injuries in a major car accident. Despite neighbourhood bullies and a disapproving father (Colm Meaney, The Damned United), he perseveres with the love of his utterly charming wife, Julz (Alexandra Roach, Anna Karenina, The Iron Lady), a delightful sense of humour and that voice (Potts’ own vocals were used in the film).

“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.” (Christy Lemire,

“Director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) has crafted a sweet, funny, heartfelt film, and while we may know all along how it all turns out, Paul’s signature performance still gives us chills.” (Annlee Ellingson, Los Angeles Times)