England in 1983. Twelve-year-old Shaun lives in a run-down harbour town. Shaun’s father was killed during the war in the Falklands. Wandering about the streets in the bell-bottoms his father bought for him, Shaun runs into Woody and his skinhead mates. They become friends and Shaun joins their gang. Even if he can’t find the coveted red Doc Martens in the local shoe shop and a Ben Sherman t-shirt is way beyond what he can afford, he still looks the part because Woody’s girlfriend Lol has shaved Shaun’s head. At a party Shaun meets Smell, who gives him his first kiss, and Combo, who has just been released from prison. He is Woody’s role model. Soon all the kids are in awe of the older man – even if his racist comments shock them. Time and again, Combo rants on about the Falkland war, or about the immigrants who are stealing jobs from British people. After a while Woody has had enough. But Shaun can’t get enough of Combo’s cant and eagerly takes it all in. Shortly after this, the gang follows Combo to a meeting of the right-wing radical National Front. Before long, the gang starts terrorising the neighbourhood with right-wing slogans, assaults and graffiti. But Combo is by no means as tough as he appears. It kills him to know that Lol, who used to be his great love, won’t have anything more to do with him. Like all the other members of the gang, he dreams of having a different life entirely. –Berlinale
A rising star of British cinema, Shane Meadows is an English film director, screenwriter and occasional actor from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England.
Meadows dropped out of school before he reached his GCSEs because he was more interested in stealing with his friends than getting an education. He started off in Uttoxeter making short films with his friends and family, but without any film festivals in the area, they remained largely unseen. However, after one short was given a run in the local cinema, it soon became popular throughout the town.
Meadows enrolled on a Performing Arts course at Burton College, where he first met friend and future collaborator Paddy Considine. Amongst other things, they formed the band She Talks To Angels (inspired by a Black Crowes song of the same name), with Meadows as vocalist and Considine as drummer. Lead guitarist in She Talks To Angels was Nick Hemming, who was also a member of The Telescopes and now fronts The Leisure Society. read more
After a repeat viewing, this is as wonderful as ever. Albeit the reduction of all proud Englishmen as nationalist aggressive thugs with family issues is a bit of a forced leftist perspective, but that's getting picky. The film is wonderfully shot, skillfully directed, with great newcomer performances and a great soundtrack. A beautiful little blue-collar film, the likes of which aren't made much in the UK any more.
I wanted to give this movie a 4,5 but you cant put half’s and if i’m honest i don’t mind giving it a pure five because it really brought out mixed emotions through all of the film. I felt anger because… read review