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1 item from 1999

Film review: 'A Room For Romeo Brass' Meadows' Dull Sheen on 'Romeo Brass' / Helmer shows honesty, compassion with pic about two kids in England

16 November 1999 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Shane Meadows' second feature is a compulsive look at the relationship between two children and what happens when people and situations drive them apart. At times tough, charming and disturbing, the British film presents a telling portrait of growing up in a Midlands estate town where life is never easy and the line between compassion and violence is often thin.

Meadows' first full-length film, "TwentyFourSeven", was acclaimed by critics at Venice two years ago, and "A Room for Romeo Brass" confirms his talent for telling honest tales and pulling no punches. It screened at the London Film Festival.

The story centers on the friendship between two 12-year-olds, the chunky Romeo (Andrew Shim) and the more fragile Gavin (Ben Marshall), next-door neighbors whose relationship helps compensate for the shortcomings of their families. Then they meet Morell (Paddy Considine), a strange and gangly young man who befriends the boys and develops a romantic obsession with Romeo's sister.

When Gavin has to go into the hospital, the friendship is hampered by the presence of Morell. He seems to take a fatherly role with Romeo, whose estranged real father has recently appeared on the scene. But Morell's obsession with Romeo's sister becomes more and more violent, eventually pushing Romeo back to his old friendship and a seeming reconciliation with his father.

As with his previous film work, Meadows uses a mixture of professional actors and newcomers. In the lead roles, Shim and Marshall are excellent, and Considine is wonderfully bizarre and disturbing as the unhinged Morell. Bob Hoskins, who starred in "TwentyFourSeven", crops up in a cameo as a cycling tutor who visits Gavin while he is bed-bound after an operation.

Meadows, again shooting in his native town of Nottingham, films with deep understanding and compassion for his characters. Often it doesn't make for easy viewing, but he remains a filmmaker with stories to tell.


Alliance Atlantis/BBC

A Company Pictures production in association with Big Arty

Credits: Producers: George Faber, Charlie Pattinson; Director: Shane Meadows;

Screenwriters: Shane Meadows, Paul Fraser; Executive producers: Andras Hamori, David M. Thompson; Director of photography: Ashley Rowe; Production designer: Crispian Sallis; Music: Nick Hemming; Editor: Paul Tothill. Cast: Romeo Brass: Andrew Shim; Gavin 'Knocks' Woolley: Ben Marshall; Morell: Paddy Considine; Stephen Laws: Bob Hoskins; Joseph Brass: Frank Harper; Carol Brass: Ladine Hall; Ladene Brass: Vicky McClure; Sandra Woolley: Julia Ford; Bill Woolley: James Higgins. No MPAA rating. Color/stereo. Running time -- 88 minutes.


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1 item from 1999

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