Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and ...
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Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for ... See full summary »
An odd film, primarily looking at how the dole affects the underclass in Britain. Tim Roth stars as Colin, a slow and possibly intellectually disabled man living with his parents and ... See full summary »
Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and Cyril's pretentious sister and philandering husband. Shirley wants a baby, but Cyril, who reads Marx and wants the world to be perfect, is reluctant. Cyril's mum locks herself out and must ask her snooty neighbors for help. Then Cyril's sister Valerie stages a surprise party for mum's 70th birthday, a disaster from start to finish. Shirley holds things together, and she and Cyril may put aside her Dutch cap after all. Written by
sad, hilarious cross-section of England in the 1980's
Mike Leigh's bittersweet social satire dissected with devastating accuracy (and a sometimes heartbreaking sense of humor) the widening gap between the haves and have-nots in Margaret Thatcher's England, moving from transparent criticism to crass parody to, finally, a touching plea on behalf of the elderly. It's a gray little film, giddy and depressing all at once, although often as funny (and just as striking) as hearing fingernails scraped down a blackboard. Leigh's cross-section of British society rings true even at its most exaggerated, and his ear for language, whether mumbled Cockney slang or nasal upper-class snobbery, is pitch perfect.
The film is essentially a showcase for some wonderfully defined characters: marginalized counterculture Marxists Cyril and Shirley; Cyril's ultra-neurotic middle-class sister and her vulgar salesman husband; an infirm old mum; a pair of callous upscale neighbors; and an odd, occasional houseguest named Wayne. The plotting is furtive: nothing much happens over the course of the film, giving the cast plenty of room to stretch out in their roles. The characters and story lines were created by the entire cast through extensive pre-production rehearsals, but the finished film is remarkably cohesive, with acting so natural it could easily be mistaken for improvisation if it weren't so well written. The result is a film of rare and genuine emotion: it's either the gloomiest comedy ever made or a tragedy with no shortage of laughs.
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