Somers Town (12A)

Film

Comedy drama

720.fi.somersMASTER.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 19 2008

Shane Meadows is a British filmmaker with no equivalent. At 35, he has five features and a host of shorts behind him. What’s striking about this Midlands storyteller is that he is able to explore the comic and tragic absurdities of small-town life in a populist, invigorating fashion, moving with swagger and ease from laughs to tears and back again. He is good, too, at extracting performances from youngsters. Brotherly friendships are at the heart of his films, including this latest, which, owing to its slight knockabout feel and running time of barely more than an hour, should really be considered his fifth-and-a-half.

Shot in black and white, ‘Somers Town’ is a slim whippet of a film that is set in the nether regions of King’s Cross and follows a friendship between two teenagers: Marek (Piotr Jagiello) is the son of a Polish builder working on the Eurostar and Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) is a lippy, vulnerable kid who arrives from the North with nowhere to stay. They meet in a café and bond over their admiration for a French waitress (Elisa Lasowski). They hang about the streets, nick clothes from launderettes and do wide jobs for a local odd boy.

Their exploits are as charming as they are casual; some of the film’s strongest moments are sequences that simply show us the fabric of this neck of the woods, set to a yearning acoustic soundtrack. There are some laughs – but the jokes don’t come thick and fast. The film’s portrayal of friendship is always warm and sensitive.

Meadows’s filmmaking has always verged on the scrappy, which isn’t surprising for a filmmaker who cut his teeth swinging a video camera around his neighbourhood. The rough edges give his films their identity. The same is true here, but ‘Somers Town’ is the first of his films to be made away from home turf and you can feel the awkwardness of this dislocation: an encounter between Tomo and local lads doesn’t ring true and the coincidence of Tomo bumping into the same woman twice rubs against a realistic portrayal of the city.

The film began in a boardroom: Eurostar initiated the film as a novel approach to marketing. It sometimes shows. But one shouldn’t get too hung up on the finances. Since when were most films not tied up in a complex network of capital? Here the product placement is more amusing than sinister. That said, you may want to close your eyes when the film lunges from black and white to grainy colour for a brief, upbeat Paris-set epilogue, complete with shots of the Eiffel Tower. It says something of the film as a whole: lovely in parts, hard to love in others.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Aug 22, 2008

Duration:

71 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Thomas Turgoose, Kate Dickie, Piotr Jagiello, Elisa Lasowski, Ireneusz Czop, Perry Benson

Producer:

Zoe Bell, Barnaby Spurrier

Cinematography:

Natasha Braier

Production Designer:

Lisa Hall

Music:

Gavin Clarke

Screenwriter:

Paul Fraser

Director:

Shane Meadows

Cinemas showing Somers Town

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South Hill Park Arts Centre

South Hill Park, Bracknell, RG12 7PA Show map/details

  • Address:

    South Hill Park Arts Centre South Hill Park
    Bracknell
    RG12 7PA

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  • Thu Sep 25:

    • 19:45

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
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  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|20
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Sam

Boring film, terrible acting. Turned it off after 40 mins as it was making me cringe.

Sam

Boring film, terrible acting. Turned it off after 40 mins as it was making me cringe.

rodge

Pretty poor. The acting was OK but the script and the directing were just dire. Why so many people involved when it looked like it could've been thrown together by one man and his cam order. Utterly unbelievable relationship between Tomo and the French girl. On a positive I thought the music was terrific well done to them, my single star goes to them. Sorry Shane

rodge

Pretty poor. The acting was OK but the script and the directing were just dire. Why so many people involved when it looked like it could've been thrown together by one man and his cam order. Utterly unbelievable relationship between Tomo and the French girl. On a positive I thought the music was terrific well done to them, my single star goes to them. Sorry Shane

do not watch

jacking off in the bath, fat man pulling change out of his thong, cross dressing, doing a poo in plasic bag, some fat kid stripping off and its in black and white. Its as bad as an advert for praising the nazi campaign. I would rather burn my eyes out with a blowtorch than watch this again.

do not watch

jacking off in the bath, fat man pulling change out of his thong, cross dressing, doing a poo in plasic bag, some fat kid stripping off and its in black and white. Its as bad as an advert for praising the nazi campaign. I would rather burn my eyes out with a blowtorch than watch this again.

this is rubbish

worst film ever. its as bad as the flight of the red balloon, i pity you if you have to waste a hour of your life to watch this.

this is rubbish

worst film ever. its as bad as the flight of the red balloon, i pity you if you have to waste a hour of your life to watch this.

Calum

I do find it astonishing that this film has had such poor reviews. For me it was the most enjoyable film of 2008- warm, witty,and characterful. It was not entirely realistic, and it came close to sentimental, but it just avoids this by the pithiness and earthiness of the characters and locale. It is a simple and unpretentious piece which captivates.

Calum

I do find it astonishing that this film has had such poor reviews. For me it was the most enjoyable film of 2008- warm, witty,and characterful. It was not entirely realistic, and it came close to sentimental, but it just avoids this by the pithiness and earthiness of the characters and locale. It is a simple and unpretentious piece which captivates.

peleparso

A brilliant 60+mins of film. Turgoose is utterly compelling and has a natural talent for comedy. A gentle film that doesn't try to fit into the orthodox films-must-look-like-this box and for that should be applauded. Some of the other reviewers here should stick to their idiotic multiplex dross.

peleparso

A brilliant 60+mins of film. Turgoose is utterly compelling and has a natural talent for comedy. A gentle film that doesn't try to fit into the orthodox films-must-look-like-this box and for that should be applauded. Some of the other reviewers here should stick to their idiotic multiplex dross.

Ted

A hugely disappointing film that went nowhere. Too many cliches and very disjointed. The end scene was unbelievable as was the French girls involvement. Quite frankly I was relieved it only went on for 70 minutes, the end could not come quick enough. Save your money, it's not worth seeing.

Ted

A hugely disappointing film that went nowhere. Too many cliches and very disjointed. The end scene was unbelievable as was the French girls involvement. Quite frankly I was relieved it only went on for 70 minutes, the end could not come quick enough. Save your money, it's not worth seeing.

Bob Wilkinson

Best Meadows Film to Date. For a film that was meant to be an 'inbetween projects movie' it is mind blowing what has been achieved. Funnier than any Meadows offerings since Romeo Brass and Smalltime!!!

Bob Wilkinson

Best Meadows Film to Date. For a film that was meant to be an 'inbetween projects movie' it is mind blowing what has been achieved. Funnier than any Meadows offerings since Romeo Brass and Smalltime!!!