Meantime (1983)

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Meantime is a 1983 film directed by Mike Leigh, produced by Central Television for Channel 4. It was shown at the London Film Festival in 1983 and on Channel 4 a few weeks later, on 1 December. According to the critic Michael Coveney: "The sapping, debilitating and demeaning state of unemployment, the futile sense of waste, has not been more poignantly, or poetically, expressed in any other film of the period."

The film details the travails of a working-class family in London's East End, struggling to stay afloat during the recession under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's premiership. Only the mother Mavis (Pam Ferris) is working; father Frank (Jeff Robert) and the couple's two sons Colin (Tim Roth), a timid, chronically shy individual and Mark (Phil Daniels), an outspoken, headstrong young man, are on the dole. This situation is contrasted by the presence of Mavis's sister Barbara (Marion Bailey), and her husband John (Alfred Molina), whose financial and social loftiness, in suburban Chigwell, appears to be a comfortable facade over the unspoken soreness of a lacklustre marriage.