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4 September 2018

Christmas comes early.

by Jason Stone


John Lewis Partnership: “Bohemian Rhapsody” - 2 mins 30s

With even John Lewis and Waitrose starting to feel the impact of retail's malaise, and with a certain weariness forming around the idea of the big Christmas advert, how does the company most closely associated with Yuletide marketing respond? By releasing a festive ad in the first week of September, obviously.

Strictly speaking, this isn't a Christmas ad but it's going to be perceived as one. And that means it's going to have to be pretty fucking good to head off the naysayers who complain about the way shops start gearing up for Christmas when it's still some distance away. Lucky then that it's more than pretty fucking good... it's fucking awesome.

There's always an element of improvised charm about Dougal Wilson's work... a sense that it's just something he threw together by chance. But has he ever had such a great opportunity to make this aspect of his work the central feature? The drama teacher choreographing all of the action is a cypher for Wilson, literally pulling the levers to turn a modest idea into a masterpiece.

It's unusually full of action for a Dougal Wilson film, and there's little opportunity here for the little reaction shots and moments of puzzlement he often draws from child actors to melt the hearts of the audience. But there's no need for them as the whole enterprise is literally rocking with charm. Other directors might have been tempted to build towards a slick finalé but Wilson instinctively understands that you don't always need polish to shine.


Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB Ⓟ Ⓦ
CCO: Richard Brim
Creative Director: Tim Vance / Paul Knott
CEO: Tammy Einav
Managing Partner: Miranda Hipwell
Account Director: Jo Lorimer
Account Manager: Tom Peters
Business Team: Sam Brown
Strategy: Martin Beverley
Planner: Charlotte Wood
Agency Producer: Jack Bayley
Ass't Prod (Agency): Oliver Parker / Andrea Zlotnick
Film Production: Blink Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Dougal Wilson Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Ewen Brown
Production M'ger: Beatrice Warren / Stefania Monetti (Co-ordinator)
1st AD: Jim Cole
Executive Producer: James Studholme
Cinematographer: Linus Sandgren
1st AC / Focus Puller: Chaz Lyon
2nd AC: Jason Dully
Production Designer: Chris Oddy
Costume Design: Rebecca Rich
Editor: Joe Guest @ Final Cut
Film Lab: Cinelab London Ⓟ Ⓦ
Post Production: Amy Richardson @ MPC Ⓟ Ⓦ
VFX: Tom Harding
VFX Shoot S'visor: Bruno Fukumothi
Colourist: Jean-Clément Soret @ MPC Ⓟ Ⓦ
Sound Designer: Anthony Moore / Mark Hills @ Factory Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music: Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.