Tag Archives: Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh – Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her. Read More »

Mike Leigh – All or Nothing (2002)

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Phil (Timothy Spall) is an overweight taxi driver who gets up late in the day and works intermittently, barely communicating with his family except for a few grunts. His philosophy of life is expressed as “We’re all born alone. We die alone. There’s nothing we can do about it”. Mike Leigh has given us powerful portrayals of the underclass in his previous films Naked, Secrets and Lies, and Life is Sweet but none more powerful and moving than his latest, All or Nothing. Read More »

Mike Leigh – Another Year (2010)

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Mike Leigh is often accused of talking down to his characters. With Another Year, this fan of the British auteur can see why. Leigh’s latest is a lovingly told but insufficiently nuanced story of four seasons, a year in the lives of a happy couple and their miserably single friends. It begins in spring with a close-up of a face locked in abject misery: Asked by a counselor how happy she is on a scale from one to 10, Janet (Imelda Staunton) says one, in effect setting the tone for much of the film. The only happiness here belongs to Gerri (Ruth Sheen) and her husband, Tom (Jim Broadbent), whose relationship is as organic as the vegetables they grow in their backyard, but what’s their secret? No one’s asking, including Leigh. Read More »

Mike Leigh – The Short & Curlies (1988)

A bespectacled wise-cracker, who only communicates through corny jokes, courts the affections of a shop assistant, who – when not getting her hair done by a chatty hairdresser – is forever talking about bodily complaints. Short and sweet, with excellent performances from David Thewlis and Sylvestra Le Touzel (as the courting couple), Alison Steadman (as the hairstylist), and Wendy Nottingham (as her sullen daughter,) Leigh’s slice-of-life drama proves delightful. Read More »