Complete A-Z list

Somers Town


Stars: Thomas Turgoose, Piotr Jagiello, Elisa Lasowski

Director: Shane Meadows

A filmette from director Meadows, shot on his familiar urban stamping grounds, but in altogether gentler vein to his previous film This is England and perhaps even his best work to date. The star of that, Turgoose, reappears here as Tommo, a disaffected Nottingham teenager headed for the 'sights' of London. The first sight he sees, however, is the pavement, as he is pursued and beaten (he runs across a main road and into an alley!) by a trio of yobs who steal his money and bag of possessions.

Bloody and bruised, he's befriended first by a woman (Kate Dickie) he's met previously on a the train, then by Marek (Jagiello), the son of a Polish immigrant (Ireneusz Czop), who allows him to hide in their flat. Marek, a budding photographer, has a crush on local French waitress Maria (Lasowski) which is soon shared by Tommo, who is scrounging a living doing odd jobs for local wide boy Graham (Perry Benson), who sells stolen goods from his lock-up garage.

Graham gives Marek an Arsenal shirt 'to help him fit in' (did they really make any with 'Terry Henry' on the back?) and the boys nick a wheelchair on which, in a charming sequence, they give Maria a ride home.

Although the film is slight and the acting only adequate, more runtime (it's 65 minutes plus credits) would probably see it outstay its welcome and fracture its fragile appeal. The sharp black and white photography by Natasha Braier is superior to anything from mainstream movies of the past decade and on a par with that seen in British realist dramas of the early 1960s. Of all those who made this little film, hers is the talent to watch.

David Quinlan

UK 2008. UK Distributor: Optimum. Black and white (with colour sequence).
75 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Aug 2008