Learn more about this title's writer and director in as we put Shane Meadows In the Director's Chair...
Twenty Four Seven [DVD] 
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Tim (Danny Nussbaum) is out walking in Nottingham when he comes across Darcy (Bob Hoskins), his former mentor, now living as a down-and-out. Tim recalls how five years ago Darcy started a boxing club for the bored youths living on the local council estate, organising them for a contest against a rival club and giving them a sense of purpose.
Gritty British social realism gets the Rocky treatment as a group of working-class no-hopers in rundown 1980s Nottingham learn the value of discipline and commitment through the art of boxing. Bob Hoskins is hugely sympathetic as Alan Darcy, the tough-love coach who drags two opposing gangs of miscreants off the streets and into the gym. Although Darcy hopes to offer his boys more than their usual existence of "taking shit twenty four seven" (i.e. all the time), his plans are soon thwarted by one physically abusive father, a drug-addicted boxer, and interference from the gym's crooked underwriter Ronnie Marsh (Frank Harper).
The feature debut from acclaimed short-film director Shane Meadows, Twenty Four Seven is a good-looking smartly paced parable that skirts around its larger social issues in favour of knockabout humour and neat narrative resolution. Kitchen-sink realism comes courtesy of the silvery black-and-white film stock shot by cinematographer Ashley Rowe, while the relentlessly upbeat mood is aided and abetted by soundtrack tunes from The Charlatans, Paul Weller, Tim Buckley and others. As mentioned, Hoskins does a sterling job as the gentle giant hiding a cauldron of suppressed rage, yet the junior players often blend into an interchangeable amalgam of spunky but anonymous youth. Elsewhere there's some skewed logic in the script (the boys agree to try boxing after missing penalty shoot-outs with Darcy), and some wasted scenes (a trip to Wales becomes an extended musical montage-"and cue Charlatans!"), but generally Meadows has kept his tale engagingly intimate and small-scale. If anything, this leaves you with the feeling this rising director has bitten off only a fraction of what you suspect his talents can chew. --Kevin Maher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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