Possibly director Meadows' finest work. What begins as a jovial coming of age tale of friendship and mischief takes a sudden and jolting dark turn. The semi-improvised script gives the film a familiar and sometimes uncomfortable realism. The cast (many of whom debuted directly from Meadows' workshops) is amazing - Vicky McClure (later of This Is England infamy) was just 15 when she played Romeo's sister Ladine; Frank Harper is perfectly cast as estranged father Joe Brass; and Bob Hoskins puts in a wonderfully charming cameo as the home tutor. The real highlights though are the debut performances from Paddy Considine (Morel) and Andrew Shim (Romeo) which are nothing short of phenomenal. Meadows took this young and inexperienced rag-tag band of actors and forged it into a world-beating performance. Bravo!