Once upon a Time in the Midlands

  • 15
  • Shane Meadows (2002)
  • UK
  • 100 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Full of familiar Britpic faces and spaghetti western references, Shane Meadows's third feature opens with promise and panache. However, once petty crook Robert Carlyle arrives in Nottingham to prevent ex-wife Shirley Henderson from marrying garage boss Rhys Ifans, the Leone tone is replaced by a diluted brand of Ken Loach realism, in which quips and slapstick leaven the underlying atmosphere of aggression and despair. Consequently, the story loses momentum, minor characters are marginalised in favour of introspection and the dénouement winds up more a letdown than a showdown. Knowingly filmed and scored - and acted with aplomb - this is ultimately undone by its laudable ambition.

Plot Summary

Drama set in Nottingham, starring Robert Carlyle and Rhys Ifans. Having seen his ex-wife Shirley being proposed to on a daytime talk show, ex-con Jimmy sets out to prevent her from marrying her new boyfriend, Dek.

Cast and crew

Cast

Jimmy
Robert Carlyle
Dek
Rhys Ifans
Carol
Kathy Burke
Shirley
Shirley Henderson
Charlie
Ricky Tomlinson
Marlene
Finn Atkins
Vanessa
Vanessa Feltz
Plonko the clown
Vic Reeves
Kung fu clown
Bob Mortimer
Bingo caller
Shane Meadows

Crew

Director
Shane Meadows

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Film Four
Guidance: 
Contains violence and swearing.
Available on video and DVD
Released 6 Sep 2002
Certificate 15
Categories
Comedy

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