Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Done In 60 Seconds Competition 2015
Guide To Marvel's Infinity War
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Perry Benson
Piotr Jagiello
Elisa Lasowski
Thomas Turgoose.
Directors
Shane Meadows.
Screenwriters
Paul Fraser.
Running Time
71 minutes

LATEST DVD REVIEWS
Killing Fields, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Aliens VS Predator Requiem
1 Star Empire Rating
Blacula
2 Star Empire Rating
Once Upon A Time In America
5 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Killing Fields, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Once Upon A Time In America
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Leve
5 Star Empire Rating
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Somers Town
It’s a small, perfectly formed Meadows lark


submit to reddit


Plot
Arriving in London to escape his tough Nottingham existence, orphan Tomo (Turgoose) is viciously mugged. But his fortunes take an upswing when he meets shy Polish teen Marek (Jagiello) and the pair form a friendship built on goofing about and harebrained money-making schemes...


Review
Somers Town
Browse more images »

Arriving in London to escape his tough Nottingham existence, orphan Tomo (Turgoose) is viciously mugged. But his fortunes take an upswing when he meets shy Polish teen Marek (Jagiello) and the pair form a friendship built on goofing about and harebrained money-making schemes...

Following the fireworks of This Is England, Shane Meadows powers down for another beautifully modulated study of young manhood. Centred around the redevelopment of London’s St. Pancras station, Somers Town charts the poignant friendship between an emotionally bruised Midlands teen and an older yet more naive Polish lad, finding skeins of magic in the ordinary. At 71 minutes, it’s undoubtedly a slight and brisk picture but, if nothing else, it should be lauded for adding different colours to Meadows’ increasingly broad and impressive palette.

Written by regular cohort Paul Fraser, this is Meadows through and through. The under-the radar blue-collar existence, represented here by Perry Benson’s alpha loser Graham Cutler (“from a long line of Cutlers”) who enlists the boys’ help in a sanding-down-deckchairs business and plants Marek in an Arsenal shirt reading ‘Terry Henry’, is warmly evinced, Meadows never parodying or patronising his wheeler dealers. There are also lovely comedic vignettes, with Tomo forced to wear old women’s clothes after his one jacket is ruined in the wash and the boys’ first foray into booze ending in a wrecked living room.

Where this really shines, though, is in its touching depiction of cross-cultural friendship. If This Is England saw Turgoose become a star, here the camera knows he’s a star, carrying the movie with charm, charisma and masked vulnerability. He is beautifully aided and abetted by newcomer Jagiello, who lends Marek a slight, simple innocence. There is also a sweetness new to Meadows’ work, the boys’ infatuation with a French waitress (Lasowski) shot through with tangible adolescent longing.

After years of documenting his beloved hometown of Nottingham, Meadows’ shows an equally astute eye for this North London locale, lensing the various housing estates and industrial backdrops in a gorgeous, crisp monochrome, poignantly capturing a landscape in transition. Much has been made of the fact that Somers Town has been sponsored by Eurostar, but it in no way feels like a corporate promo. It may have small-time ambitions, but the long-time smile it plants across your face is huge.


Extras

Somers Town Somers Town
Released: 12 January 2009
Only a fairly prosaic interview with the director.


Verdict
Meadows in a minor key but still a major delight; his improvised feel, sparky comedy and interest in the truth of youth services a story that’s both winning and winsome.


Reviewed by Ian Freer

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Somers Town
Empire Star Rating

Somers Town Review

Shane Meadows hits the spot with this short but sweet slice of good natured comedy, surprisingly, as it's essentially an extended black & white advert for a train station. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 22:30, 14 April 2012 | Report This Post


Grim

Of cause it's grim Shane Meadows made it - ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 16:52, 28 August 2011 | Report This Post


Somers Town Movie Review

Somers Town (2008) is fresh and lighthearted coming of age story that has real-life charm and drama. It is serious yet fun look at growing up. The people you meet and the situations you get into, as well as your dreams, truly shape who you are. Being filmed in black and white gives it a clean feel that enables you to focus on the events and characters without distraction. The original music by Gaven Clark is refreshing and perfectly fits the style of the film. Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) has ju... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dbin78 at 04:13, 05 September 2009 | Report This Post


NOT A BAD MOVIE.

In many ways this is a very good movie & good cast as well ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by soulfood at 22:38, 23 January 2009 | Report This Post


disappointing

I too cannot believe all the great reviews this is getting. I don't like bad mouthing movies but this is massively disappointing and I am certain if this was a debut feature from a new director it would not be receiving all the praise it currently is. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by boriordan at 12:13, 29 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Somers Town

L: Indio I rather enjoyed it, theres not a lot going on plot wise but all the actors involved acquitted themselves rather well I thought, and while it doesn't compare to Dead Mans Shoes, Romeo Brass or This Is England I found it infinitelky preferable to Once Upon A Time In The Midlands. I don't know where you watched it but I saw a digital presentation at the Curzon in Soho and found nothing wrong with the cinematography, either in black and white or the very short colour sequences ... More

Posted by El Becks at 08:05, 29 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Somers Town

L: frankie Disappointing. I'm a big fan of meadow's previous films. This is England was my favourite film of last year, but I found this to be poor and it felt a LOT longer than it's short running time. Why it had to be in black & White i don't know. On a purely visual level, I found it really hard to watch as the monochrome cinematography is so poor. Although when we eventually do see some colour it is so out of focus that I wanted the black and white back. But it wasn't just tha... More

Posted by Venkman at 17:14, 25 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Somers Town

I rather enjoyed it, theres not a lot going on plot wise but all the actors involved acquitted themselves rather well I thought, and while it doesn't compare to Dead Mans Shoes, Romeo Brass or This Is England I found it infinitelky preferable to Once Upon A Time In The Midlands.   I don't know where you watched it but I saw a digital presentation at the Curzon in Soho and found nothing wrong with the cinematography, either in black and white or the very short colour sequences at the e... More

Posted by Indio at 00:27, 23 August 2008 | Report This Post


Somers Town

Disappointing. I'm a big fan of meadow's previous films. This is England was my favourite film of last year, but I found this to be poor and it felt a LOT longer than it's short running time. Why it had to be in black & White i don't know. On a purely visual level, I found it really hard to watch as the monochrome cinematography is so poor. Although when we eventually do see some colour it is so out of focus that I wanted the black and white back. But it wasn't just that I felt was wrong w... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by frankie at 17:17, 22 August 2008 | Report This Post


SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Farewell To Middle-Earth Issue:
Guest -Edited By Peter Jackson

The countdown to Empire's stunning new issue begins here...

Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Robert De Niro
The heavyweight champion of character immersion, explosive rage and jawdropping subtleties

Empire Meets Thelma Schoonmaker
On editing Scorsese, GoodFellas and a life in film

5 Possible Captain America: Civil War Roles For Daniel Brühl
Failing a Red Skull return, here are some Marvel villains the actor could play...

Kit Harington On How To Train Your Dragon 2
As the sequel hits home entertainment, we talk to the Game Of Thrones star

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)