7.6/10
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High Hopes (1988)

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0:59 | Trailer
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 ... See full summary »

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Cyril (as Philip Davis)
...
Edna Doré ...
Mrs Bender
...
Martin
Heather Tobias ...
Valerie
...
...
...
Wayne
Judith Scott ...
Suzi
Cheryl Prime ...
Martin's Girlfriend
Diane-Louise Jordan ...
Chemist Shop Assistant
Linda Beckett ...
Receptionist
Ali ...
Baby
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belle speranze  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,192,322 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Rupert Boothe-Braine: Now... what made this country great was a place for everyone, and everyone in his place. And this is my place.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Imagine: The One and Only Mike Leigh (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Poor Man's Prison
(uncredited)
Written by Keith Colley and Knox Henderson
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User Reviews

 
sad, hilarious cross-section of England in the 1980's
27 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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