Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands 2002

Directed by Shane Meadows

Germany / UK In English
100 minutes 35mm

Director

Screenplay

Paul Fraser
,
Shane Meadows

Photography

Brian Tufano

Editors

Peter Beston
,
Trevor Waite

With

Robert Carlyle
,
Rhys Ifans
,
Kathy Burke
,
Shirley Henderson
,
Ricky Tomlinson

Festivals

Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), Edinburgh, Toronto 2002

Elsewhere

“No one can accuse Shane Meadows of being anything other than a director of small gems. His bittersweet fictions are as addictive as pop songs. As the title suggests, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands puts a playful English spin on the idea of a western. There’s a cheeky twang to the soundtrack, and Brian Tufano’s photography creates deserts out of empty urban sprawls and dead-end streets. Again he probes the anguish of estranged fathers and fractured suburban families that haunted his last two films, TwentyFourSeven and A Room for Romeo Brass. But there’s a fresh, improvised feel about this that makes the story feel sharper than usual. Robert Carlyle plays a Glaswegian hardman who drifts back to reclaim his wife (Shirley Henderson) and 12-year-old daughter. But Henderson has taken up with Rhys Ifans’ geeky car mechanic…” — James Christopher, The Times  

“A marvelously involving family saga… Brit social realism meets the spaghetti Western – and the former wins.” — Derek Elley, Variety