Meantime

Overview

Colin (Tim Roth, making his screen debut) and his brother Mark (Phil Daniels, who starred in Quadrophenia) are down and out. They live in a squalid flat with their unemployed father, Frank (Jeff Robert), and their put-upon mother, Mavis (Pam Ferris). They're on the dole, and Mark is constantly scrounging for cash and cadging drinks from his friends, among them Coxy (Gary Oldman in his screen debut), a skinhead. Colin, shy and perhaps mentally disabled, has a crush on a good-natured local girl, Hayley (Tilly ...
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Overview

Colin (Tim Roth, making his screen debut) and his brother Mark (Phil Daniels, who starred in Quadrophenia) are down and out. They live in a squalid flat with their unemployed father, Frank (Jeff Robert), and their put-upon mother, Mavis (Pam Ferris). They're on the dole, and Mark is constantly scrounging for cash and cadging drinks from his friends, among them Coxy (Gary Oldman in his screen debut), a skinhead. Colin, shy and perhaps mentally disabled, has a crush on a good-natured local girl, Hayley (Tilly Vosburgh). But when Coxy brings him over to her apartment, he can only watch helplessly as a rather ugly scene unfolds. Mark, who is constantly mocking Frank's hypocritical and outdated world view, also makes fun of Colin and calls him "Kermit" and "muppet." Barbara (Marion Bailey, who would later appear in All or Nothing), the boys' middle-class aunt, drops by one day and offers Colin work helping her redecorate her house. Colin seems only mildly interested, but his parents pressure him to take the offer. Mark says that Barbara is exploiting Colin, but his family suspects that Mark is just resentful because Barbara didn't offer him the job. On Colin's first day, Mark turns up at Barbara's to learn that Colin hasn't shown up yet. As Mark and Barbara search the neighborhood for Colin, Mark makes insinuations about the state of Barbara's troubled relationship with her husband, John (Alfred Molina). Meantime, conceived and directed by Mike Leigh, was produced for British television, and shown at the 1984 Berlin International Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Mike Leigh's poignant Meantime seethes with an undercurrent of rueful rage, and shows the talented director developing a visual style to complement his facility with character and dialogue. The film doesn't have much of a plot. Leigh's subject matter is hopelessness in contemporary England, and the heart of this strong little film is the odd relationship between the two brothers, the glum, lonely, slow-witted Colin (Tim Roth) and the bitter, sarcastic, and verbose Mark (Phil Daniels). The brothers are brilliantly cast. In addition to being talented actors, they have a distinct physical resemblance. Mark, with his painfully sharp wit and nihilistic world view, is somewhat similar to Johnny (David Thewlis) in Leigh's seminal Naked, but with a sweeter soul. Daniels gives a terrifically edgy performance as the prototypical "kitchen sink" antihero, with a quick mind and no intention of finding a positive use for it. Tim Roth is also outstanding, investing his character with inner life, and refusing to compromise the reality of Colin's disability and his environs to gain audience sympathy. Marion Bailey is also notable as the upwardly mobile Barbara, whose ability to trade quips with Mark masks a painful lack of self-awareness. The supporting cast is good all around, including Gary Oldman as an ineffectual skinhead, who doesn't quite have the courage or the malice to lash out in his powerlessness. The family's estate manager (a deft comic turn by Peter Wight) inadvertently sums up Leigh's aesthetic with a silly Zen-like analogy about handling his tenants problems -- "It helps if you tell us about the grain of sand. Don't wait to tell us about the anthill." The fascinating, meandering Meantime, like much of Leigh's work, is decidedly "about the grain of sand," but the film's bittersweet ending still packs a surprising emotional punch.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/26/1999
  • UPC: 720917505626
  • Original Release: 1981
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Stereo
  • Sound: stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marion Bailey Barbara
Phil Daniels Mark
Tim Roth Colin
Jeff Robert Frank
Alfred Molina John
Gary Oldman Coxy
Tilly Vosburgh Hayley
Eileen Davies Unemployment Benefit Clerk
Pam Ferris Mavis
Herbert Norville Man in Pub
Peter Wight Estate Manager
Technical Credits
Mike Leigh Director
Graham Benson Producer
Diana Charnley Art Director
Andrew Dickson Score Composer
Lindy Hemming Costumes/Costume Designer
Vivien Pottersman Production Designer
Roger Pratt Cinematographer
Lesley Walker Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Access
1. The Suburbs [8:31]
2. On The Dole [13:21]
3. Dirty Laundry [10:14]
4. A New Mate [16:14]
5. Job Opportunities [16:26]
6. Backing Down [12:31]
7. Picture Of Happiness [13:58]
8. Peelhead [10:59]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play The Movie
   Production Credits
   Filmographies
      Mike Leigh
      Gary Oldman
      Tim Roth
      Alfred Molina
   Trailer
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