Meantime (1984)

Original Title : Meantime
Director : Mike Leigh
Writer : Mike Leigh
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Graham Benson
Music : Andrew Dickson (I)
Photography : Roger Pratt
IMDB ID : 0082727
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poster for "Meantime" by Mike Leigh (1984)
Meantime (1984) - Mike Leigh


Marion Bailey Barbara
Phil Daniels I
Tim Roth Colin
Pam Ferris Mavis
Jeff Robert I
Alfred Molina I
Gary Oldman Coxy
Tilly Vosburgh Hayley
Paul Daly I
Leila Bertrand I
Hepburn Graham Boyfriend
Peter Wight Estate Manager
Eileen Davies Unemployment Benefit Clerk
Herbert Norville Man in Pub
Brian Hoskin Barman


An odd film, primarily looking at how the dole affects the underclass in Britain. Tim Roth stars as Colin, a slow and possibly retarded man living with his parents and brother in a housing project. He and his sarcastic manipulative brother still behave like teenagers, living with their parents, harassing each other. The problem is that they are in their late teens or twenties. Neighborhood characters include Hayley, a young woman with a crush on Colin, and Coxy (Gary Oldman) a violent local skinhead who befriends Colin. Trouble ensues when their wealthy aunt gives Colin a job and his brother becomes jealous.


Although this film was made in 1983 I have only recently seen it. It featured as part of a Mike leigh feature on TV last year. Once more these people are like real poeple not acters which is something I admire most about his films.The family in this film are all unemployed and are getting on each others nerves. They are living in a cramped house and are constantly rowing, this I think is down to fustration about the situation. They are taking it out on each other. The father keeps nagging his sons to go out and get a job whilst he does not appear to be making any effort himself. At least one of the sons did try to do something, that was until his brother stuck his nose in. Something I notice not only in this film but elsewhere too is that many people without a lot of money always manage to findmoney to smoke and drink.The sad thing is they haven't many other pleasures in life, these things are the way they relax and unwind . It perhaps helps take minds off their troubles for a while. I enjoyed this film, it is well made, well acted and a lot of research has gone into it.