1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... See full summary »
This Ken Loach film tells the story of a man devoted to his family and his religion. Proud, though poor, Bob wants his little girl to have a beautiful (and costly) brand-new dress for her ... See full summary »
In South Yorkshire, a small group of railway maintenance men discover that because of privatization, their lives will never be the same. When the trusty British Rail sign is replaced by one reading East Midland Infrastructure, it is clear that there will be the inevitable winners and losers as downsizing and efficiency become the new buzzwords. A cheery camaraderie is soon replaced by uncertainty and turmoil when their depot manager fills them in on the details of the new arrangement. Privatization means that the customer now comes first, something that is instilled into the men in new training sessions. But there are inconsistencies and shortsightedness to the new ways. Men used to working together now find themselves belonging to different, competing companies. Some even have to tender for their old jobs. Others decide to take the redundancy packages offered by the firm. As always, corners are cut in the interest of lowering costs, leading to a series of misadventures. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The vest that John wears in the beginning (with the meter) and end (their last job), is actually a British Rail safety vest, over his Gilchrist coat (when he moves you can see the gray on it). He has the combination on before the company is renamed Gilchrist Engineering. See more »
'Elf' and Safety.
What do you mean, Health and Safety.
Health and Safety.
Yeah well what about health and safety.
[trying to cut off]
-shouldn't be in here; this is our mess room.
But, that clock is not a health and safety issue.
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This film was very underseen in the USA, though many consider it one of Loach's finest. As a traveler who has seen firsthand what privatization is doing to the UK transportation system, this film struck me as grittily authentic.
As with so many of his films, Loach chooses to address social ills by exploring their effects upon working class characters. But not every plot point has to do with the topic at hand, and that is why the films work well, because the narrative has a life of its own driven by these characters (most of them quite likable although flawed) that goes beyond its "message."
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