Rating: 4 out of 5.

EUROVISION SONG CONTEST THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA – A big-budget comedy musical extravaganza about our favourite pan European gay as anything song contest with added Australia of course. A perfect very knowing made with love homage including all the clichés & idiocies from the 64-year-old event which of course this year was postponed due to the pandemic and replaced with a well-received online show including clips from this film.., but this movie partly makes up for the lack of the original this year. Available on Netflix.

Nutshell – Lars and Sigrit from a small fishing town in Iceland inspired by watching Abba sing “Waterloo” at the 1974 show become singers with big dreams of entering and winning Eurovision. With the aid of some fun pop songs, four of which have already charted in the UK for real, weird outfits ludicrous gimmicks and the help of some mountain elves the duo due to a plot twist taken entirely from a Father Ted episode get their chance to compete in the Edinburgh finals but it is anything but an easy ride not least as Iceland don’t really want to win as they cannot afford to host it the following year and also because of a smarmy Russian singer who is attracted to Sigrit.

Running Time – 123 Minutes – Cert PG-12.

Tagline – ‘Nobody Wins Solo’… a key to where the plot goes.

The Gay UK Factor – There are three membership requirements to be gay 1 a sexual attraction to your same-sex, 2 you must watch and study every episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race and 3 You must worship at the pool of Eurovision. This film is as gay as Linsey Graham’s dress closet being stormed by Lady Gaga and Kylie for a World Pride party at the MET Ball. To help you also get continual commentary from Mr Graham Norton playing himself and for sex appeal the hottest thing to come out of Downton Abbey Dan Stevens in a chest exposing scene-stealing supporting role… but is he gay, well throughout the movie there are heavy hints although he is also pursuing Sigrit consistently but at the end when told ‘That he deserves to be happy’ he replies ‘Mother Russia does not agree’ meaning the country he represents has very well-known retarded anti-gay relationship views.  

Cast – Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Piers Brosnan as the sceptical dad, Graham Norton, Demi Lovato and all your Eurovision winning stars that you can tick off as they cameo such as Neta, Conchita Wurst, Alexander Rybak, Jamala, Loreen…etc plus a number of new acts which could fit into any edition of the last few years. 

Key Player – This is written, produced by and of course starring Will Ferrell who is a massive fan of the contest and what the contest means to our Continent as he is married to a Swedish lady. The love he has for the event and its intricacies like who votes for whom and everyone hating the UK so they will get zero points etc is evident throughout. Done in the same style and with the same humour as all his movies so you will already know what to expect in tone. He camps it up like crazy and has the most fun he has probably ever had and with the worst wig possible to boot. That said you will be hanging even more on the Dan Stevens scenes as he steals, robs and plain nicks the movie whilst everyone else is gluing their sequins on.

Budget – $35 Million but it looks glitzier. This is a Netflix original and with the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hanks and Spike Lee releasing their latest films exclusively on online platforms together with the likes of The Lady And The Tramp and Hamilton then Box Office is measured in a very different way from cinema ticket stubs. It is now all about new subscribers with Netflix alone adding 16 million new members in March of this year and Disney Plus being launched to spectacularly great figures it seems that film production and its money-making potential has entirely flipped across into a whole new exciting world.

Best Bit – 1.04 mins; As Eurovision aficionados will know to get through to the Saturday final a country has to successfully navigate one of the Two semi-finals. That is utilised in the movie to great effect as in all these types of films the main characters have to have a major setback before they get things together in the film’s climax here Fire Saga has the worst possible three minutes on stage in front of an audience you could imagine, it is cringeworthy and oh so funny.

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Worst Bit – 0.07 mins; The two main villains here are lightweight to say the least. An underused Pierce Brosnan as the father has very little to do in an undercooked role and the head of the Finnish selection committee is as threatening as Alan Carr and Louis Spence in a fistfight. Yet in a movie like this, you don’t really need the drama just the acres of glitz, sparkle and neon matched by heavy doses of eternal hope and ambition.

Little Secret – Will Ferrell’s interest in the Eurovision Song Contest began when his Swedish wife Viveca Paulin took him to her cousin’s house in May 1999 and the family turned the competition on. He always spends his Summers in Scandinavia. Since then, he kept following it. In 2014, Ferrell travelled to Copenhagen, to watch the finale of The Eurovision Song Contest live in which Conchita Wurst was crowned the winner whom he met. He was given full access to the Lisbon finals in 2018 including all rehearsals and backstage access as research for this movie.          

Further Viewing – Pitch Perfect’s 1-3, Sing, A Chorus Line, Sister Act 2, American Dreamz, Talladega Nights, Blades Of Glory, Get Hard, Step Brothers and anything involving the words Zoolander, Daddy’s, Home or Anchorman.

Any Good – This is great and is so happy it will provide the perfect tonic and lift for anyone in these strange times. It helps if you are not allergic to Mr Ferrell and also if you are an avid consumer of Eurovision you will get a lot more from all the knowing little asides. It has a wonderful feel about it and just wants to entertain with no wish or likelihood of winning Oscars and there is nothing wrong with that.

Many of the songs you wish were longer and you may want to buy the CD which is already Top 5 but most of all you will feel better for seeing it. It’s been a while maybe not since Mamma Mia Here We Go Again, Pride or Rocketman that we have had a fun gay film that just wants to make you feel good as opposed to all the wrist wringing queer kitchen sink struggles and dramas that usually pass for gay cinema.

‘Hello Edinburgh, we hope you are having a great night and we love your dress. Without further ado, it is 10 points to Russia but our 12 points go to … (Pause for added dramatic effect)… ICELAND’ !!!

4 STARS