Sep 30, 2007

This Is England

This Is England. See it now. See it and revel in a film of strength, compassion, truth and honour. This is realist drama at its very best. Full of pathos and humour it will also give you an emotional kick in the guts. Written and directed by Shane Meadows, the film is set in the English summer of 1983. An era of Thatcher, The Falklands War and National Front politics. Filmed in Nottingham, it provides a snapshot of this time as we delve into the lives of a group of skinhead friends. The central character is Shaun, played brilliantly by Thomas Turgoose. He is a young boy, struggling to cope with the loss of his father in The Falklands. Bullied at school he finds refuge in a small group of skinheads who take him under his wing. The group is very tight and caring, led by the charismatic Woody (Joe Gilgun), who bond on a love of Ska, Ben Sherman shirts and Doc Martens. The group needs to reevaluate itself when Combo, played with amazing ferocity by Stephen Graham, is released from prison and splits the band of friends with National Front politics. He tries to recruit each one to his cause, causing fights, betrayal and tension along the way. Set to a soundtrack of early eighties English music this is a searing drama that will leave you gob smacked and emotionally drained at times. Its heart is very big, an insight into a period and time that seems quite distant now.

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