Sunday, July 26, 2009

Somers Town

Somers Town is playing at Film Forum right now. It's directed by Shane Meadows, who was responsible for This is England, which explored skinhead culture in Thatcher era Britain (& not incidentally, had one of the best soundtracks of any film in recent years). Somers Town brings back Thomas Turgoose (the central character in This is England) as a runaway from the midlands, & explores his relationship with Marek, an immigrant Polish teen. It's a slighter film than This is England, with a lighter, milder, plot, but it delivers a small finely drawn slice of contemporary London life, & the two central characters give fine, naturalistic performances. Turgoose has a great, pudgy, expressive face and Marek (Piotr Jagiello) has an awkward adolescent presence, moving from unaffected kindnesses to scolding reprimands and darting sideways glances. My favorite British directors are the great Ken Loach (see Kes, if nothing else) and Mike Leigh, and Meadows is following in their footstpes.