this is england

Just caught up with Shane Meadows’ This Is England (2006), the odd, violent, chokingly funny & very sad coming-of-age of a 13 year old skinhead in Thatcher’s Britain, filmed in Nottingham & Grimsby. It’s difficult to cheer, shout with laughter & cry for the whole human race all at the same time; but two scenes between Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) & his girlfriend Smell, played by Rosamund Hanson, caused me to do this. 20 hours later, I still have to endure the trauma of acute bouts of smiling. (Partly because I’ve got Toots & the Maytalls’ contribution to the soundtrack playing on repeat.)

Also caught this week: Frozen River. Liked that too.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “this is england

  1. evan

    Just watched it: the smiles that came to me were ones that I hadn’t realized my mouth had formed, and it was always too late when I did realize; I’d be left with a stupid grin, heavy on the cheeks, awkward, wondering how I got there and who saw me.

    The benevolence in that film is overwhelming, the sheer goodness is harder to take than the violence or the tragedy or the pathos. Great, through and through.

  2. Dave

    I like Frozen River a lot too. I thought the ending should have been grimmer though.

    That was filmed near where I’ve been doing a lot of snowshoeing recently.

  3. uzwi

    Hi Evan

    >>the benevolence in that film is overwhelming, the sheer goodness is harder to take than the violence or the tragedy or the pathos.

    Good way of putting it. Sometimes you don’t know where to look.

    Hi Dave. Looks like the last place God made if you have to live there, but I guess that was careful use of setting.

    >>I thought the ending should have been grimmer

    For a moment, me too: then I thought it wasn’t really an ending, one of the strengths of the whole film was as a cut down–without closure–through harsh lives that would probably go on being harsh. I didn’t figure I’d been offered an easy way out either, as the viewer.

  4. Greg

    ‘It’s not because I’m smelly’

  5. Duke of Sussex

    Check out Meadow’s Dead Man’s Shoes, if you haven’t already. Oblique masterpiece and great sound-track.