When mild-mannered Clutch Hutch manager Dek (Rhys Ifans) proposes marriage on live TV to his sweetheart Shirley (Shirley Henderson), he doesn't get the answer he was hoping for. Maybe that's because Shirley has unresolved feelings for her fresh-out-of-prison former partner, Jimmy (Robert Carlyle), who witnesses the proposal on TV from Glasgow, where he and his mates are busy holding up a bank.Jimmy rides back into the Midlands to rekindle his relationship with Shirley and their daughter, Marlene (Finn Atkins), much to Dek's despair. Soon the meek but good-hearted hero finds himself in a high-noon showdown with the dark-hearted stranger.

Shane Meadows opts for an unusual directing approach that is refreshingly different.

Shirley, Shirley Henderson, lives with her 12-year-old daughter, Marlene, Finn Atkins, and her boyfriend, Dek, Rhys Ifans, the manager of a car repair shop, in Nottingham. When Shirley and Dek appear live on a national television show, Dek proposes to Shirley, but she rejects him. The show is being watched in Glasgow by Jimmy, Robert Carlyle, Shirley\'s ex and Marlene\'s Dad. Jimmy decides to return to Nottingham to pick up the pieces of his life and win back his wife and daughter.

British director Shane Meadows proved to be an interesting talent with his first two features, Twenty Four Seven and A Room For Romeo Brass. In this, his third film, he\'s more ambitious: as the title suggests, he\'s evoking the spirit of Sergio Leone to explore a slice of British Midlands realism.

The core of the film is the character of young Marlene, and Finn Atkins gives a very true, very honest portrayal of a young girl forced to make some difficult choices. Shirley Henderson, Rhys Ifans and Robert Carlyle are also very good, though the latter\'s accent is at times hard to penetrate. The Leone touches come from the use of the Scope screen, which gives a very different dimension to the film, and the Morricone-like music score, by Liz Gallacher. On the downside, there\'s some embarrassing over-acting from Kathy Burke who plays Dek\'s sister with a complete disregard for reality. But, overall, this rather unusual approach to the Ken Loach school of Brit kitchen-sink drama is refreshingly different.