The kid's just wonderful: Over the past four years, Thomas Turgoose, the discovery of Shane Meadows' This Is England, has appeared in three films (plus one British TV series I've not seen) and has another new movie in the can. Blessed with a odd and funny (though certainly not beautiful) face, he's only 17. Yet he has made memorable -- by force of that face and a personality
that appears to lend itself well to whatever subject his film is tackling -- each of the three movies I've seen.
In This Is England, he was fresh fodder for a possible conversion to unrepentant skinhead. Yet things work out somewhat differently than we might expect. In Eden Lake (one of the best of the recent slasher films), Turgoose gives the movie its one extreme dose of humanity, shaking us up and moving us quite suddenly and unexpec-
tedly. Now, in Meadows' (shown at right) newest film SOMERS TOWN, this young actor (shown below) really struts his stuff in a role and a movie that lets him make use of even more of his humor, charm and off-the-wall characterization. He's a "natural" whose every moment registers as real, and while he may not vary all that much from role to role, it is already clear that he can work well and hold his own in films of very different genres. (This Is England and Somers Town, though from the same director, are quite different from each other. The later was written by Paul Fraser, Meadows' oft-time collaborator.)
Film Movement is distributing Somers Town theatrically, in a limited release that begins today, here in NYC -- for a two-week run at Film Forum. In the weeks to come, watch for it in Philadelphia, L.A., Denver, Santa Fe, Honolulu, San Francisco and Berkeley. The entire schedule appears here. A DVD release will be forthcoming, as well.