UPON A TIME IN THE MIDLANDS
Rhys Ifans, Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson, Finn Atkins, Kathy Burke
and Ricky Tomlinson
Director: Shane Meadows
Running Time: 104 mins
buy on DVD September 29th
to his girlfriend Shirley (Henderson) on national TV and then been turned
down, Dek (Ifans) didn't think that things could get any worse. That was
until Jimmy (Carlyle), the father of Shirley's daughter Marlene (Atkins),
returns from Glasgow after three years with only one thing on his mind,
winning back his family.
Shane Meadows' completes
his 'Midlands trilogy', after Twenty Four Seven and A Room for Romeo Brass,
is quirky British comedy at its best.
Paying homage to
the classic western storyline of the bad seed returning to town, who then
divides the loyalties of the townsfolk but setting it in the modern midlands.
The western references come thick and fast, a standoff in a saloon, the
local club, the shoot out at high noon, a fight, and the hero, Dek, even
has a loyal steed in the form of 'Baby', his Max Powered Ford Sierra.
are top notch. Ifans and Henderson play their parts superbly, with Ifans'
cowardly hero been his best role in years. Robert Carlyle is the weakest
of the three, as he never really brings nothing new to his usual Scottish
hard man role. It is young actress Finn Atkins who steals the show however,
bringing to the screen a very realistic portrayal of a twelve-year-old torn
between her real father and the man she wants as her dad. Good support also
comes from Kathy Burke and Ricky Tomlinson, who provide the comic relief.
It does loose its
way abit in the second act with the introduction of some comedy outlaws
seeking revenge. The subplot is never really resolved but the set up robbery
does provide the chance for some cameos (Watch the end credits to see if
you spotted them)
Proving again he
is a writer/director to watch, Shane Meadows delivers a story and a group
of characters that you both care about and want to do well. Funny, touching
and wonderfully acted, this is one of the best British comedies in a long
Shane's World, Deleted
Scenes, Cast Interviews, "Once upon a time around Britain" - 35