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neumu
Sunday, December 17, 2017 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  This Is England cinematronic
  director

Shane Meadows

cast

Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure, Joseph Gilgun

year

2006

rating rating cinematronic
  Drawing upon experiences from his childhood, writer/director Shane Meadows uses autobiography and period detail to fashion an affecting coming-of-age drama that also addresses the social and political turmoil of England in the early 1980s — and offers a chilling glimpse into the era's skinhead movement. Shaun, a 12-year-old boy played with verity and tenacity by fledgling actor Thomas Turgoose, is living in the economically strapped British Midlands with his mother. His father recently died in the Falklands War, and the heartsick, aimless Shaun must deal with bullying at school and loneliness, until he falls in with a band of roughneck skinhead kids who offer protection and camaraderie. Grateful to be accepted, Shaun begins to spend all of his time with his new friends and adopts their knockabout sartorial style. This scruffy gang, led by the amiable Woody (Joe Gilgun), may enjoy vandalism, but they're mostly interested in the fashion and music that mark skinhead culture, which, at its worst, is a violent, racist manifestation of right-wing fascism. One of Woody's crew is even of Jamaican descent, which doesn't seem to be a problem until older pal Combo (Stephen Graham) shows up after some jail time and wants the skins to embrace more radical neo-Nazi doctrine. Woody isn't so sure, but Shaun, eager for empowerment, sees Combo as a father figure. When Combo tries to coerce the skins into truly dangerous, destructive behavior, Shaun must decide how far he's willing to go to be a part of something bigger. Meadows gets terrific performances out of his young cast, accurately depicts the skinhead life to a rousing soundtrack of vintage ska and R&B tunes, and paints a troubling, resonant portrait of lives out of balance.

cinematronic
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