"Somers Town" is Shane Meadows follow up to his highly acclaimed film last summer "This Is England"-which, if I recall right, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year as well. To some extent I liked his previous film, although not to the higher accolades as several other fellow film fans. I was highly impressed by the lead performance by Thomas Turgoose, who returns in this film along with Piotr Jagiello (both of whom won the Best Acting Award at the Festival). They play Tomo and Marek. Tomo is a runaway from Nottingham who ends up being mugged and robbed and left with nothing in London. Marek lives with his newly divorced father, who spends his days working and his nights drinking with some friends he made on the job. These two lonely souls end up finding each other and get into all sorts of mischief and trouble. Along the way their bond strengthens, and they both find friendship with Maria-a beautiful waitress who they both have the eyes for.
"Somer's Town" is a very simple little movie, given so much life by these two leads. Meadows shoots all in black and white, and while that usually ends up being a stunt by the director to give it an arty feel, it really does add to the story-kind of like of cruder British Woody Allen film. This is quite obviously a quick project after "This Is England,"-perhaps he had some extra time on his hands and did not want to lose Turgoose before he ends up being looked for. I really did love these two man characters, and despite only running a lean 75 minutes the film really does feel complete. Turgoose is especially terrific, not loosing any of that momentum he got from "This Is England." I personally think this is a Meadows best film since "Dead Man's Shoes," which I found to be a perfect drama. My somewhat lackluster festival lineup was given a massive boost here.
***1/2 of ****