This is England.
Chances are, you haven’t heard of this film, or the director, Shane Meadows. Mostly (British) people remember another film of his, Dead Man’s Shoes, which I just might write another short review about. So maybe this time I could recommend you a film that you haven’t heard about. Go on, see for yourself. I’ve heard people say the actors in this one are like carved out of a tree, but I strongly disagree, and so do lots of other people. I’m not English though so I might miss out some issues about their acting. Mind you, if you are American or from elsewhere outside Britain, you’ll pretty much miss it too, not in a bad way at all of course. And you can still decide whether you like their acting or not. I do.
I thought it’s brilliant. Marvellous cast. Thomas Turgoose is simply amazing, and he doesn’t let Stephen Graham steal the show. And he gets to do some cool stuff. But Stephen does put on a great show too.
Everything about the film looks so authentic, the cinematograhy, and some of the stock footage just captures the mood of the film and the time the film is set in. The way Shane is used to delivering sense of realism, or naturalism, is so gripping that you feel you’ve gone back in time. It’s a different world.
I don’t want to touch the story of the film too much, but I suppose it would help if you had an idea about what was going on in England at the time, or a thing or two about skinheads. There seems to be a bit of confusion among viewers about what skinheads (then) were all about. Or what being a skinhead back then was about. Times change, you see.
Or you can have a different kind of movie night and watch Romper Stomper. If you liked the style of Romper Stomper, you might find some of the skins in this one a bit soft… I hope that’s not too much of a spoiler… Or if you don’t fancy the whole Englishness of it, go for American History X – it’s not the same thing and while it’s a good movie too, you’d be missing out on something.