Shane Meadows is the man. He has been one of my favorite UK directors since discovering him via Dead Man’s Shoes.
This is England is a take on the coming-of-age story featuring misguided skinheads that only Meadows could have got right. He doesn’t overplay anything, rather letting his actors draw out the tensions and conflicts with a subtle touch.
It’s kind of like Kids meets American History X meets the 400 Blows meets Mr. Meadows.
But to even say that is to sell it short. The performance of Thomas Turgoose is breathtaking and as real and raw as it gets. I would have voted his performance for an Oscar, had it been nominated.
What did you just say?:
The spin-off show, This is England 86: