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The year is 1990, the rave scene has just entered England. The sound of the Stone roses lurks toward Shaun and the gang. This means that Woody and Lol are living in a domestic bliss, they are happy again. But this year will see huge changes in everyone. This is the year 1990. This is England.
Lyra Mae Thomas,
Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.
In a typical English working-class town, the juveniles have nothing more to do than hang around in gangs. One day, Alan Darcy, a highly motivated man with the same kind of youth experience, starts trying to get the young people off the street and into doing something they can believe in: Boxing. Soon he opens a training facility which is accepted gratefully by them and the gangs start to grow together into friends. Darcy manages to organize a public fight for them to prove what they have learned. A training camp with hiking tours into the mountains of Wales forge the group into a tight-knit club society. With the day of the fight drawing closer, the young boxers get more and more excited. Written by
Julian Reischl <email@example.com>
For my money this is the best film of the year. Best in that it didn't cost a fortune but packs as much of an emotional wallop as any blockbuster with 200 times the budget. Bob Hoskins plays Darcy, the burnt out soccer coach whose past history is told in flashback through his diary. It tells of how he trained up a team of no-hopers into becoming boxers with something to live for. Shot in luminous black and white, the feature debut of Shane Meadows is a remarkably sensitive, blisteringly funny portrait of hopelessness in Nottingham. The city has always had its problems but is also one of the most vibrant places on earth and Meadows captures the balance perfectly.
The sulphurous black and white photography adds much class to the production and the team of largely unknown actors handle things admirably.
The movie also features one of the most realistic fight scenes ever committed to celluloid when Hoskins and Coronation Street's Bruce Jones (Les Battersby) lay into one another. Both actors walked away with broken bones and this is jut one element of why 24/7 is a cut above the average movie. It's life captured on film with few romantic films. But the message is as powerful as one of Hoskins' punches in the ribs. Meadows will inevitably get more money for his next picture and will no doubt be sucked into the Hollywood mainstream which will probably be the death of him. If that happens, let's hope he doesn't lose sight of the genius which he embedded into every frame of 24/7.
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