Coming of age in 1980s England

Review A-

November 02, 2007|By Kevin Crust

The images that open Shane Meadows' deeply personal, politically charged drama This Is England begin with cheeky nostalgia, an innocuous collection of 1980s British iconography - grinning Margaret Thatcher photo-ops, primitive video games, Duran Duran, the royal wedding of Charles and Di. The montage then quickly shifts to more potent reflections: the Falklands War, angry clashes between civilians and police, and Thatcher standing cheek by jowl with Ronald Reagan.

This introduction clearly establishes the period of the film but does not prepare us for the degree of affection and understanding Meadows has for the era. The writer-director brilliantly juxtaposes the personal and the political, bookending a stirring coming-of-age drama with the provocative opening and an equally affecting end sequence.

This is England (IFC Films) Starring Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham. Directed by Shane Meadows. Unrated. Time 101 minutes.

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