Shane Meadows’s “This Is England” by Nick Pinkerton (July 23, 2007)

It’s 1983, in the interminably gray council estates of the Midlands, and runty 12-year Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is in a dire spot. His father won’t be coming back from the Falklands War; at school, everyone else has adopted the uniforms of their respective clans – goths, mods, New Romantics – while he stands alone in raggedy bellbottoms. The only suggestion of respite from his outcast status comes on the last day of school, when he runs afoul of a local gang of skinheads, led by the perceptive and charismatic Woody (Joe Gilgun) – in short order, Shaun’s scalp is shorn and he’s outfitted in boots and braces, a part of something at last.

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