MORRISSEY'S lyrical yet bitchy autobiography, the helpfully titled Autobiography, said everything he wanted to say about his life. His self-reverential insistence on the book being published by Penguin Classics said everything about him.

He is yet to say anything about Mark Gill's cinematic account of the pre-Smiths life and times of Steven Patrick Morrissey, The Bedroom Years, yet to send off one of his acidic reviews to the NME letters page, as was his waspish wont before he himself became the subject of such notices. He never will, he never will, he never will.

Gill, Morrissey's fellow Mancunian and 12 years his junior, essays a warts-and-all story of this disarming man, and he doesn't pamper life's complexities in delivering both a hymn of praise and a no-holds barred dissection of the stubborn fledgling steps of the stand-alone, stand-out, most contentious pop-culture figure of his generation.

Picking up Steven's life as a jobless, lank-haired, bookish late-Seventies teenager obsessively tapping away at his typewriter in a dark bedroom full of records, books, ticket stubs and pictures of his heroes, it is not the happiest of Manchester homes. His father has gone; his sister doesn't get him; his mother wishes he was looking for a job.

And then he finds a job, and you know the miserable rest, as played by Scottish actor Jack Lowden, already seen in turmoil this summer in Dunkirk, and now turning in a Morrissey that is more soundalike than lookalike, in the grip of ennui and full of contradictions. Grouchy yet humorous, sweet yet prickly, over-confident yet riddled with doubt, although the latter does not ring so true in the light of Autobiography.

The scenes of Steven "at work" at the Inland Revue, always bunking off to write lyrics, are among the best in a series of kitchen-sink drama vignettes that hark back to the grey days of Billy Liar. Likewise, Gill enjoys showing Morrissey's "relationships" with women, bonding with fellow outsider art student Linder Sterling (Jessica Brown Findlay) over their shared love of music, but never remotely interested in the admiring advances of others.

Music plays its part, albeit without a single Smiths song featuring, as Steven lurks at the back of gigs, makes his debut with Billy Duffy's band the Nosebleeds and wonders if he will ever find a match for his master's voice. Enter Johnny Marr, The End of the film, the start of Morrissey.

England Is Mine (15) will be shown at City Screen, York, at 6.15pm tomorrow (August 18), 6.35pm on Saturday; 5.45pm on Sunday; 6.45pm, Tuesday to Thursday.

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KIRSTIE Lount, events manager at Waterstones, in Coney Street, York, has ordered extra copies of Morrissey's Autobiography from Penguin Classics. "We'll be happy to do a 20 per cent discount on presentation of a ticket for England Is Mine at City Screen," she says.