It’s the summer of 1978 and a scrappy 15-year-old boy from a broken home encounters first love and punk rock while striving to keep his skint family afloat.
His flighty boho mum (Natascha McElhone) lives in a squat. His dogged Scottish dad (Dougray Scott) has just landed in hospital after coming off worse in a scrap with a falling piano. And his little sister needs looking after. Things look pretty dire. Fortunately, pretty new acquaintance Vivian (Nell Williams) has just introduced him to the music of The Clash…
Coming-of-age movie London Town contains a jarring mishmash of moods, veering as it does between urban grit (rioting punks versus skins and rubbish on the streets) and whimsical comedy (Daniel Huttlestone’s young hero driving his dad’s cab disguised as a woman to hide his age).
For all its flaws, however, the film’s underlying sweetness makes it hard to dislike. Good, too, to see punk icon Joe Strummer – played with bolshie vim by Jonathan Rhys Meyers – as the story’s unexpected fairy godfather.
Certificate 12. Runtime 90 mins. Director Derrick Borte
London Town is playing on Sky Cinema Premiere and is available on DVD from High Flier Films.