Maybe cause it's not a story that hit's people as closely as his other films did maybe cause it's in black and white. I think it holds Bob Hopkins second best performance (Mona Lisa is still his best), It's Shane's best shot film by a good distance probably his most arty film too to boot. I know many of my mates who I got into Shane's work don't talk about it too much compared to his other work. I also love the scene with Van Morrison's Wild Nights playing over Bob Hopkins getting ready plus his character as a child. It's one of Shane's most joyous scenes. It's probably cause it's a more slow burning affair then DMS or TIE.
But reading this on Wikipedia
"The film received very favourable press on release in the UK, including five star reviews from publications including Empire. It subsequently performed well at UK awards ceremonies. At the 1998 BAFTA Awards, it was nominated for the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film. At the 1998 British Independent Film Awards, Meadows won the Douglas Hickox Award and the film was nominated in the Best British Independent Film category. Meadows won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1998 Venice Film Festival."
I remember Many critics thought ARFRB was a let down after Twentyfour Seven, although now it seems many consider ARFRB the better film now and the more classic work.
I like how they summed up the film -- "Director and co-writer Shane Meadows deals sensitively with a subject usually untouched in films — the difficulties of being a compassionate person in an untrusting and violent society."
"Maybe I'll always be the one and only girl for me"
~ Kirsty MacColl, "The One & Only" (1991)
Here's another review from the time from Total Film, they gave it 4/5.
This is a nice description of Darcy
"Darcy himself is a deeply vulnerable individual behind the ebullient facade, who describes taking his elderly aunt ballroom dancing as a "quilt to hide my loneliness"."
I think it's Shane's probably most melancholic film to date that's saying a lot after watching DMS or TIE. I watched it again earlier on, it reminds me very much of the British Kitchen sink drama's a lot more then Shane's later films which have a lot more of the Mike Leigh/Ken Loach feel to them.