IMDb > Life Is Sweet (1990)
Life Is Sweet
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Life Is Sweet (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Life Is Sweet -- US Home Video Trailer from October Films


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Release Date:
December 1991 (USA) See more »
A waitress, her cook husband, & their twin daughters ponder their lives over a few weeks in a working-class suburb north of London. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
9 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Sometimes the best movies... See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Alison Steadman ... Wendy

Jim Broadbent ... Andy

Claire Skinner ... Natalie

Jane Horrocks ... Nicola

Stephen Rea ... Patsy

Timothy Spall ... Aubrey

David Thewlis ... Nicola's Lover
Moya Brady ... Paula
David Neilson ... Steve

Harriet Thorpe ... Customer
Paul Trussell ... Chef (as Paul Trussel)
Jack Thorpe-Baker ... Nigel (as Jack Thorpe Baker)

Directed by
Mike Leigh 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mike Leigh 

Produced by
Simon Channing Williams .... producer
Original Music by
Rachel Portman 
Cinematography by
Dick Pope 
Film Editing by
Jon Gregory 
Casting by
Sue Whatmough 
Production Design by
Alison Chitty 
Art Direction by
Sophie Becher 
Costume Design by
Lindy Hemming 
Makeup Department
Christine Blundell .... hair stylist (as Chris Blundell)
Christine Blundell .... makeup artist (as Chris Blundell)
Carolyne Walsh .... hair stylist
Carolyne Walsh .... makeup artist
Production Management
Lorraine Goodman .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Gilchrist .... third assistant director
Gus Maclean .... first assistant director
Hedda Moore .... fourth assistant director
Simon Moseley .... second assistant director
Art Department
David Balfour .... property master
Trisha Edwards .... production buyer
Patrick Harkins .... stand-by props
Bill Howe .... stand-by rigger
Piero Jamieson .... dressing props
Eddie Klima .... carpenter
Ken Marples .... construction manager
Greg Mason .... painter
Bob Starrett .... stand-by carpenter
Steve Wheeler .... stand-by props
Debbie Wilson .... art department assistant (as Deborah Wilson)
Mark White .... construction (uncredited)
Sound Department
Sue Baker .... dubbing editor
Malcolm Hirst .... sound recordist
Dick Lewzey .... sound engineer
Peter Maxwell .... dubbing mixer
Andrew Morris .... boom operator
Julian Rodd .... foley editor
Penny Woolley .... assistant dubbing editor
Steve Hancock .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Peter Brayham .... stunt arranger
Camera and Electrical Department
Lucy Bristow .... clapper loader
Martin Duncan .... best boy gaffer
John Gardey .... additional still photographer
Bill Howe .... stand-by rigger
Simon Mein .... still photographer
Len O'Brien .... generator operator
Dave Owen .... electrician
John Parsons .... gaffer
Dick Pope .... camera operator
Gary Turnbull .... focus puller
Jay Williams .... camera grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anthony Black .... wardrobe supervisor
Debbie Scott .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Stephens Evans .... first assistant editor
Jackie Vance .... second assistant editor
Music Department
David Snell .... conductor
David Snell .... music producer
Transportation Department
Phil Allchin .... unit driver
Other crew
Chris Allies .... title designer
Joan Atkinson .... additional script supervisor
Joey Bishop .... jobfit trainee
James Bloom .... production runner
Sandy Garfield .... food advisor
Lynne Gruddis .... assistant to producer
Deborah Harding .... production coordinator
Juanita Parker .... assistant accountant
Nicholas Shaw .... rehearsal production runner
Eve Stewart .... thin man logo designer
Heather Storr .... script supervisor
Peter Tullo .... location manager
Will Tyler .... production accountant
Fiona Walsh .... jobfit trainee
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and a scene of sensuality
103 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Aubrey's bizarre recipes were devised by Mike Leigh and Timothy Spall over the course of an evening, and then checked for plausibility with a professional chef, who advised them about which ones were technically impossible to prepare; all the ones that appear in the film are, as Leigh put it, "all feasible, gross as it sounds."See more »
Wendy:[to Nicola] We don't hate you! We bloody love you, you stupid girl!See more »
Happy HolidaysSee more »


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31 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
Sometimes the best movies..., 14 March 2004
Author: Nick Edwards (cwej1) from Nottingham, England

...are the small ones.

Mike Leigh worked with his relatively small cast (five main cast members and about four supporting cast members), improvising characters, devising scenarios and plots, and came up with this; one of his earliest masterpieces.

The plot is simple enough. A couple of days in the life of a working class London family. There isn't really a plot as such. A couple of fairly deep issues are dealt with, such as eating disorders and depression, but other than a few moments, all we are doing is watching a family live their life: a strong hard-working mother (Alison Steadman); a weaker easily-led by his mates father (Jim Broadbent); and their twin daughters: Natalie (Claire Skinner) - resourceful and kind-hearted but with a strange tendency to wear men's shirts and down pints - and Nicola (Jane Horrocks) - screwed up, rude, irrational and painfully insecure in both her looks and her intelligence.

The performances brought out by this form of filmmaking are superb - as they are in all of Leigh's movies (Secrets & Lies, Career Girls and All Or Nothing are all worthy of viewing, but especially Secrets & Lies). However, Alison Steadman is the standout (perhaps for no other reason than she has the most screen time), the driving force that brings all the family together. The scene in which she finally cracks and loses that nervous laugh to tell Nicola a few home truths and break down the barriers that Nicola has put up between herself and the rest of the world, is so beautifully written and terrifically performed that it is a shame that Steadman in particular was not Oscar-nominated.

Only one or two criticisms struck me. One was a slight lack of development of the other daughter. What exactly DOES make her tick? Am I merely stereotyping by assuming she is supposed to be a lesbian? Or is she just happy being so masculine in her dress-sense and mannerisms - (she isn't even offended by a client who calls her a 'good lad')? We never find out, because the film focuses a little more on her sister. It certainly appears that her mother suspects her daughter of being gay, but for some reason the subject is never brought up.

Similarly, a couple of loose ends are never tied up. The caravan and the restaurant in particular. But I guess we have the prerogative to make our own endings up haven't we, so that's a good thing in many ways.

I think at the end of the day, people will either like all of Mike Leigh's films or none of them. And I'm in the former group. His work is beautiful and always touching.

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Can't see the justice in this film ProfoundRed
devastating scene... SPOILER, obviously... martns
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