The revenge movie to end all revenge movies (sorry Old Boy).
I first came across Dead Man’s Shoes about 8 years ago when I randomly stumbled across it on Film4. About 20 viewings later and it still packs the same emotional wallop as it did first time round.
While Dead Man’s Shoes is undoubtedly bleak and intensely powerful throughout, there are occasional lighter moments trying to burst through the gloom. These are mostly in the first half though, in the second half it really does take a dark turn and it never lets up.
Paddy Considine’s performance as Richard is one of my all time favourite portrayals. Funny, charismatic, menacing, but at the same time so haunted and pained and even vulnerable at times. It is in no way hyperbole to suggest that had Considine taken home a Best Actor gong at the Oscars absolutely nobody would have the right to complain.
Toby Kebbel is also very convincing as Richards disabled little brother in what is always a difficult role to pull off (see Ricky Gervais in Derek for someone getting it hopelessly wrong).
Meadows later work This is England took all the plaudits but Dead Mans Shoes is by far the more important and superior work.