Series Mania: Shane Meadows on ‘The Virtues,’ Chinwags with Actors, 5-10 Camera Setups

Variety | 3/24/2019 | John Hopewell
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LILLE, France — It takes just the first five minutes of Shane Meadows’ “The Virtues” – written with Jack Thorne, produced by Warp Films, airing shortly on the U.K.’s Channel 4, part of ITV Studios Global Ent.’s spring drama slate – for viewers to feel a large compassion for Joseph, played by Stephen Graham (“This is England,” “Boardwalk Empire”).

That’s despite – or because of, in part – his not saying a word.

Work - Job - Drab - Council - Bath

He’s just dropped off from work, some painting job, at his drab council flat, runs a bath, puts on the kettle, and is suddenly lost on reverie, then looks out of the window at some kids playing football across the way in a playground and fingers his temple, as if his head has an old wound, while tears well in his eyes.

Something is clearly not right with Joseph, who is losing everything he holds dear. His ex-wife, and 10-year-old son are emigrating to Australia while he’ll stay in England’s Midlands. On a drinking jag with strangers at a pub, he’s terrorized by images of priests ranting that Jesus loves him. Waking up he gets a coach to Liverpool and then a ferry to Belfast. There, the series synopsis says, he’ll “confront the demons from a childhood spent in the care-system that continues to haunt him with savage and brutal consequences.” But in Belfast, he meets the feisty Dinah, who has her own secrets.

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Described as “at once a love story between two people cast adrift in life and an exploration of the conflict between sin and virtue,” “The Virtues” is a pilgrimage of personal redemption.

Hallmarks - Meadows - UK - Auteurs - Kitchen-sink

It boasts the hallmarks that have made Meadows one of the U.K.’s most notable auteurs: Kitchen-sink realism, extraordinary performances, emotion, large shards of humor....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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