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Meantime (1984)


Was there ever a more dismal place in living memory than early 80s Britain? Economy down the pan, unemployment through the roof and for a large chunk of the population, very little hope for the future. And if you want a visual representation, check out Meantime.

Obviously with a Mike Leigh film, we're not going to get a musical or a light-hearted comedy, but this really is downbeat, with the uplifting moments coming from the performances of the rising young talent on show. That includes Phil Daniels as Mark, Tim Roth as the slow-thinking Colin (with a look stolen by Blur in years to come) and Gary Oldman as stereotypical 80s skinhead/bonehead Coxy.

Essentially, it's all about the dole - and how it effects one family. The mother (Pam Ferris) pins all her hopes on the bingo, the father (Jeff Robert) has long since given up hope, preferring instead to blame everyone else and the kids (Mark and Colin) just spend their days doing nothing in particular - just existing as kids - even though they're old enough to be making their way in life...if they could get any work.

There's no real story in Meantime, it's more of a political statement, underpinned by a vague storyline of family tension and slight desperation. But it's still a very watchable movie - and although time has changed many things, Meantime is still as relevant today as it was 20+ years back.

Find out more about the DVD at


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