London Town | Coming of age in the summer of punk... with help from Joe Strummer

London Town Jonathan Rhys Myers as Joe Strummer
(Image credit: © Content Media Distribution)

London Town Jonathan Rhys Myers as Joe Strummer

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...

London Town Daniel Huttlestone Jonathan Rhys Meyers

"Bolshie vim"

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.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.