Set in the early 1980s, This Is England initially focuses on 12-year old Shaun (played by Thomas Turgoose, a real find), as he befriends a group of skinheads. Shaun bears the scars of the 80s, with his dad lost in the Falklands War, and his relationship with his new friends develops carefully across the first half of the film.
But its in the second half where This Is England soars. Its not easy watching, as is the usual drill with Meadows best films, From a stunning tirade about the state of Britain, to moments of real unease and tension, its a terrific piece of cinema, and one destined to enjoy a healthy life on DVD. Its also one that should, if theres any justice, provide a major career springboard for its primarily unknown cast, and one that should get Meadows far more of the recognition he absolutely deserves.
Bluntly, not only is This Is England the best British film of the year. Its a standout contender for the best film of 2007 full stop. Its utterly superb, and itd be remiss not to see it. --Jon Foster
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play.
Roland Rat, Margaret Thatcher; Rubik's Cubes, the Royal Wedding; aerobics, skinheads... It's 1983, and the schools are breaking up for summer.
Shaun is 12 and a bit of a loner, growing up with his mum in a grim coastal town, his dad was killed fighting in the Falklands War. On his way home from school, where he's been tormented all day for wearing flares, he runs into a group of skinheads, who against expectations turn out to be friendly and take him under their wing. Soon Shaun discovers parties, girls and snappy dressing, and finds some role models in Woody, Milky and the rest of the gang. But when an older, overtly racist skinhead returns home from prison, the easy camaraderie of the group is broken, and Shaun is drawn into much more uncomfortable territory.