Blu-ray, DVD Release: Meantime

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 15, 2017
Price: DVD $17.49, Blu-ray $25.99
Studio: Criterion

A slow-burning depiction of economic degradation in Thatcher’s England, Mike Leigh’s (Another Year) 1984 black comedy-drama Meantime was the culmination of the writer-director’s pioneering work in television and became his breakthrough theatrical release.

Unemployment is rampant in London’s working-class East End, where a middle-aged couple and their two sons languish in a claustrophobic public housing flat. As the brothers (Quadrophenia‘s Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) grow increasingly disaffected, Leigh punctuates the grinding boredom of their daily existence with tense encounters, including with a priggish aunt (Marion Bailey) who has managed to become middle-class and a blithering skinhead on the verge of psychosis (a scene-stealing Gary Oldman, in his first major role).

Informed by Leigh’s now trademark improvisational process and propelled by the lurching rhythms of its Beckett-like dialogue, Meantime is an unrelenting, often blisteringly funny look at life on the dole.

Criterion’s editions of the movie feature the following:

* New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Roger Pratt and director Mike Leigh, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New conversation between Leigh and musician Jarvis Cocker
* New conversation between actor Marion Bailey and critic Amy Raphael
* An essay by film scholar Sean O’Sullivan

Buy or Rent Meantime

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.