A Room for Romeo Brass, the new film from British director Shane Meadows, is based on a screenplay co-written by him and his childhood friend Paul Fraser - they mined their own past for this story of a friendship between two twelve year old boys.

Knocks (Ben Marshall) lives next door to Romeo (Andrew Shim); they`re best friends. They're fathers are a bit of a problem. Romeo`s walked out for another woman some time ago and now wants to come back and Knocks' father - well, he`s still there, but inaccessible - he relates to the television. When Morell (Paddy Considine) enters their lives after saving Romeo from being beaten up things start to change. Morell`s an odd one, he has an obsessive fascination with Romeo`s sister Ladine (Vicky McLure) and when Knocks deliberately gives him bad fashion advice Morell`s reaction is menacing.

Knocks is left out of the equation, recovering at home after a back operation while Romeo is off with his new best friend, Morell.

This film really jerks into life once Morell enters the picture, Considine`s performance of this unsettling character is impressive. All the adults give strong performances, Frank Harper and Ladine Hall as Romeo`s parents and James Higgins and Julia Ford as Knocks.

Less impressive is Andrew Shim as Romeo, he seems distinctly uncomfortable in many scenes. There`s actually an unevenness in the film as a whole, there seem to be information gaps - Bob Hoskins' character of a home tutor for Knocks just arrives with no explanation. Visually Meadows is strong, presenting a rather austere portrait of life in these dreary suburbs of Nottingham.