7.2/10
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Meantime (1984)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | TV Movie 23 July 1986
An odd film, primarily looking at how the dole affects the underclass in Britain. Tim Roth stars as Colin, a slow and possibly intellectually disabled man living with his parents and ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Barbara
...
...
...
Mavis
Jeffrey Robert ...
Frank (as Jeff Robert)
...
John
...
Tilly Vosburgh ...
Hayley
Paul Daly ...
Rusty
Leila Bertrand ...
Hayley's Friend
Hepburn Graham ...
Boyfriend
...
...
Unemployment Benefit Clerk
Herbert Norville ...
Man in Pub
Brian Hoskin ...
Barman
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Storyline

An odd film, primarily looking at how the dole affects the underclass in Britain. Tim Roth stars as Colin, a slow and possibly intellectually disabled man living with his parents and brother in a housing project. He and his sarcastic manipulative brother still behave like teenagers, living with their parents, harassing each other. The problem is that they are in their late teens or twenties. Neighborhood characters include Hayley, a young woman with a crush on Colin, and Coxy (Gary Oldman) a violent local skinhead who befriends Colin. Trouble ensues when their wealthy aunt gives Colin a job and his brother becomes jealous. Written by Don Smith <dsmith@health.org>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

23 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Időközben  »

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 »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut of Gary Oldman. See more »

Quotes

Mark: Muppet.
Colin: I am not a Muppet.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The South Bank Show: Mike Leigh (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Infernal Galop
(uncredited)
From Orpheus in the Underworld
Composed by Jacques Offenbach
[The music is playing in the background when Mark leaves the apartment without Colin]
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User Reviews

 
Another terrific film from Leigh
19 April 2007 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of Mike Leigh's gritty films, and 'Meantime' fits well into his admirable canon. He examines the lives of 'ordinary people' unlike any other filmmaker I know. Here, his microscope (forget the lens) is on a NON-working class (perhaps proletarian without the peasant's earth) family in 'estate' housing in the wretched suburbs of London.

Once again, as in all his films, Leigh, using his well-known improvisational rehearsal-and-execution technique, receives razor-sharp performances from his cast. At the centre of this work are two simply superb performances: Phil Daniels as Mark and Tim Roth as his mentally 'slow' younger brother Colin. Anyone who has had a sibling will recognize the evolution of the relationship between these two. It's universal in its reach.

Splendid acting abounds and carries 'Meantime'. As the parents, Jeff Robert and Pam Ferris are all-but-tactile with their sizzling frustration and rage. Gary Oldman as a deeply disaffected youngster is wonderful. A very brief scene where he rolls in a barrel, mindlessly banging it with both hands, is both riveting and disturbing.

The quibbles I have with this film are perhaps minor to some, but of concern to me. One is Andrew Dickson's music. Is that a zither playing in an Egyptian carnival dance band? It is initially just jarring, but then it becomes downright annoying and intrusive.

I quite frankly could have used subtitles in 'Meantime'. Whole sentences just went past me. It's necessary for the stark social realism of Leigh's settings, but for non-Londoners, this can, at times, be rough going. I listened to fragments of this dialogue and it became an exercise in linguistic irony: these characters live in the country where the English language was BORN.

Doesn't matter; it's still a great and very moving film.


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