If you like... This Is England | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

If you like… This Is England

Nottingham-born-and-bred independent filmmaker Shane Meadows certainly gained a substantial fan base from his 2006 film This Is England, with his gritty portrayal of 1980s British subculture. If you're among them here are some more suggestions to quench your appetite.


Dead Man Walking

This Is England isn't Meadows' only British masterpiece; for a more thrilling version of problems facing the working class of England, try his earlier film Dead Man Walking, following Paddy Considine's disturbing character, Richard, and his heartbreakingly sweet brother. With a great twist at the end, this is a bit more of an entertainer than This Is England.



More big-budget, and again a bit more of an entertainer, is Danny Boyle's cult classic, Trainspotting, following on/off crack addict Renton (Ewan McGregor) in his battle with addiction and general low life prospects. This novel adaptation gives viewers a peek into the world of the misrepresented and misunderstood, this time in the form of the underclass of Edinburgh as opposed to Meadows' Midlanders.

One of Trainspotting's many attributes is the way in which Boyle combines pretty terrifying content with very dark humour. This is also very present in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, in which British realism goes to London, following four working class guys who end up in a bit of a tricky situation, to say the least.



Keeping with the more southern of the British indie films is Kidulthood, where humour has been replaced with good old fashioned trouble, teen angst and tragedy. This film (along with considerably less impressive sequel, Adulthood) is aimed at a younger and more urban audience than This Is England, but is another good representation of British subculture and independent film.



This brings us to Tyrannosaur, the first directorial offering from the star of much of Meadows' work, Paddy Considine, and starring Peep Show's Olivia Colman. Considine shows the dark side of the seemingly perfect middle class suburban dream through Colman's Hannah, suffering at the hands of her abusive husband and looking desperately for a way out. Like This Is England, Tyrannosaur offers a gritty and darkly emotional film, presenting a realistic portrayal of the UK in a unique and provocative style.

By Gemma Fottles


28th October 2011 at 4:34 pm

Last Updated

7th November 2011 at 7:51 pm