Two lads, alienated in London

Two young boys from London form a strong bond doing odd jobs for an eccentric neighbor and competeing for the affection of a beautiful French waitress in "Somers Town."

Adolescent boys, both new to London, living in the shadow of London's St. Pancras station. Shane Meadows' Somers Town is an affectionate, episodic and very quick (71 minutes!) sketch of this transitional neighborhood in Kings Cross, within spitting distance of the Eurostar train that travels the "chunnel" to Paris.

Meadows is the Nottingham-born director of Once Upon a Time in the Midlands and This Is England, films that embrace those who live on the tattered fringes of the social carpet.

In Somers Town, shot in black-and-white evocative of French New Wave films, Marek (Piotr Jagiello), a Polish teenage emigre who lives with his dad, Mariusz (Ireneusz Czop), encounters Tomo (Thomas Turgoose, veteran of This Is England), fresh off the train from Nottingham.

Tomo has run away from home and wants a taste of the big city. Mariusz has run away from a bad marriage and brought Marek with him. The two lads with the porridge-thick accents meet in a coffee shop where Tomo spies photographs that Marek has taken of a pretty woman named Maria.

Not a lot happens in the film, which grew out of Eurostar's commissioning a film from Meadows that would feature the chunnel train. However thin, the story of these rootless youths, estranged from mothers and native cities, has a certain universality and appeal.

Contact movie critic Carrie Rickey at 215-854-5402 or Read her blog, "Flickgrrl," at

Somers Town

Directed by Shane Meadows. With Anna Jenson, Mariusz Gajewski, Eddy Hasson, Piotr Jagiello, Perry Benson, Ryan Ford, Ireneusz Czop, Risade Campbell, Levi Hayes, Kate Dickie. Distributed by Film Movement.

Running time: 1 hours, 15 minutes.

Parent's guide: Unrated ().