189. Dead Man's Shoes (GB 2004)

Soldier seeks revenge in deepest darkest Matlock

Director Shane Meadows

Starring: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell

Bit Part: Arthur Meadows ('Mourner') is the director's dad.


Considine plays the mysterious (ex?) soldier Richard, a man who has returned to his home town to seek vengeance on the small time dealers who have abused his mentally handicapped brother. It's difficult to reveal any more of the plot without spoiling the film, so I won't.

A superb film. Cinematic when it needs to be (including great shots of the two brothers roaming the Derbyshire countryside and a cleverly filmed drug trip scene) and filled with dialogue which tries to capture the natural cadences of real speech (not always successfully, it has to be said). The best thing about the film is that it tries to give a snapshot of an indigenous culture (no matter how squalid that culture may be) and is the antithesis of the sort of soulless Hollywood shite ('Bruce Almighty' springs to mind, for some reason) or British films which aim to mimic soulless Hollywood shite  ('Love Actually').

Considine is the star of the film in every respect, but Kebbell is convincing as the mentally challenged Anthony (not easy: see Brad Pitt in '12 Monkeys' and Sean Penn in 'I Am Sam' -  AKA - 'I Am Fucking Rubbish') and a surprisingly good performance from ex-boxer Stretch.

A film with a shocking twist.

But don't go looking for it.