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  You’re Not A Nobody, You’re A Somebody

Director:  Oliver Irving

Screenplay:  Oliver Irving

Release date: January 2008

DVD release date: 18 May 2009 through Amazon.co.uk

Role:  Art Freeman

His co-stars: Johnny White (Ronny),  Mike Pearce (Nikki), Rebecca Pidgeon (Mother), Michael Irving (Father), Powell Jones (Dr Levi Ellington), Jeremy Hardy (Jeremy) and Alisa Arnah (Jessica)





From Official Site: A wry comedy about ART, a frustrated musician, undergoing what he sees as a quarter life crisis. This is not helped when his girlfriend dumps him and he has to move back in with his middle class parents – who are far from thrilled with the idea. Art’s only friend, agoraphobic RONNY, has his own problems. Holed up in a London flat in a daze of nitrous oxide and electro music, Ronny wants to start a band with Art and happy-go-lucky friend NIKKI, but only if it involves going no further afield than the flat’s roof garden.

Art discovers self-help guru, DR LEVI ELLINGTON, author of It’s Not Your Fault.  Using inheritance money, Art pays for Dr Ellington to move in with him and his parents becoming Art’s full-time life coach, shadowing him wherever he goes.  Art’s painfully funny journey to define his existence brings to the fore the dysfunctional relationship he has with his parents and the importance in his life of his oddball friends. Rich in detail and dark yet affectionate humour, How To Be is a timely look at the increasingly common phenomena of grown-up children living at home, frustrated creativity and self-help.

Robert on playing Art

“It’s that you can never tell if it is supposed to be funny or whether you are supposed to like, and it’s not even like a sort of kind of black comedy, it’s like… I don’t know, it’s just something really weird. Because in a lot of ways, Art’s a completely unsympathetic character, he’s just like a whining idiot. But at the same time, like, you know, you watch so many movies where there’s a character arc where, you know you end up you’re an ‘everyman’ but then you sort of struggle through your problems and then you end up being great to the end, but hardly anybody does anything worthwhile in their lives…” (during a Q&A session in Austin Film Festival)





Reviews can also be found at

Music is important to this story so luckily, the sound track is strong. The music for Art and his band varies from folkish to indie/electronic, and it was composed specifically for the movie by Joe Hastings and Johnny White. The more confident Art becomes, the more powerful his music, which is perfect. Elsewhere we’re treated to anything from Captain Beefheart to Beethoven. The shooting style was intimate, which works for a story focused on depression and emotions. I liked the absence of strong colors as it reflects Art’s depressed state. But the cinematography was not as strong as the story. A few of the night scenes and interiors felt badly underlit. Also, when you only have a limited budget, it helps to get more creative with the shots. Robert Pattinson’s performance is strong, and yes it’s true, he did play Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). His next flick, currently in production, is called “Twilight” and involves Vampires. Definitely a bloke to keep your eye on. “How to Be” is not currently available on DVD, but I hear they’re working hard on it.” (Quiet Earth)

The casting is equally brilliant with characters rich enough to make you want to sit down with them and get to know them better—specifically Nikki, who almost stole the film for me, though Ronny would prove to be a interesting character study as well. At one point in the film, I found myself wanting less of Art and more of them. That’s not to say that Robert Pattinson didn’t offer an exceptional performance as Art, because he did. He’s a unique talent and I look forward to more from him in the world of independent film. All in all, HOW TO BE is a gem of a film and one to seek out at your nearest film festival.” (True Genius)



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  • Gallery – Stills & Set Photos
  • Gallery – Austin Film Festival Premiere 18 October 2008

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