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Meantime

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Meantime 15 rating

Tim Roth, Phil Daniels and Gary Oldman star in Mike Leigh’s TV film about an East End family try to stay afloat during a recession.

Drama 1983 107 mins

Director: Mike Leigh

Overview

Two unemployed brothers with their own way of surviving the early-‘80s recession – quick-witted Mark (Phil Daniels) is rebellious and sarcastic while his chronically shy brother Colin (Tim Roth) has retreated into his shell. Mark’s efforts to protect Colin from a harsh world include defending him from exploitative relatives and deflecting the attentions of a dangerous skinhead, Coxy (Gary Oldman)

Meantime is best known as a pivotal work in the early careers of Gary Oldman and Tim Roth, both of whom are extraordinary in two roles that contrast wildly in their dramatic tenor. The film also represented a key moment for writer-director Mike Leigh, marking the beginning of a heightened political sensibility in his work in response to the societal changes of Thatcher’s Britain. The eighth of nine features Mike Leigh made for television following his feature debut Bleak Moments in 1971, Meantime also marked the beginning of the director’s relationship with Channel 4, which would fund his eventual return to feature filmmaking in 1988, High Hopes.