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MEANTIME

Director: MIKE LEIGH

U.K.| 1983. COLOUR. 104 MIN.


The social conscience with underpins much of Leigh’s best work came to the fore in Meantime, which provides a near-definitive portrait of the high unemployment and urban discontent that pervaded sections of Britain four years into Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. At the film’s heart is the growing bond between two brothers, caustic motormouth Mark and shy, slow-witted Colin, both in their early twenties, unemployed, and living with their bickering parents in an East End tower block. Among a then largely unknown cast, Phil Daniels and Tim Roth are excellent as the two brothers, but the most memorable character may well be Gary Oldman’s Coxy, an aimless skinhead with a dangerous penchant for racism and violence.

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