91 user 41 critic

Nil by Mouth (1997)

R | | Drama | 6 February 1998 (USA)
A rough, short-tempered patriarch of a working class family has his life and the relationships around him slowly unravel.



4,588 ( 5,048)

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laila Morse ...
Edna Doré ...
Chrissie Cotterill ...
Jon Morrison ...
Terry Rowley ...
M.C. in Club
Sam Miller ...
Club Comic
Leah Fitzgerald ...
Gerry Bromfield ...
Drug Dealer
Sid Golder ...
Old Guy in Window


The family of Raymond, his wife Val and her brother Billy live in working-class London district. Also in their family is Val and Billy's mother Janet and grandmother Kath. Billy is a drug addict and Raymond kicks him out of the house, making him live on his own. Raymond is generally a rough and even violent person, and that leads to problems in the life of the family. Written by Gustaf Molin <gustaf.molin@usa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic drug use, non-stop strong language, brutal domestic violence and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

6 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Erään perheen elämästä  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Oldman's original title for this film was "The Smoke," the 19th-century nickname for London. See more »


A boom mic is visible in the supermarket parking lot. See more »


Billy: We had a fucking dog years ago, beautiful dog, it was. All Stations, it was. That's what I used to call it. That what I thought they was saying when I was little. All stations, you know. German shepard. Judy, her name was. Yeah, me dad fucking put her down when I was little. I went on holiday with me nan, and, um, when I came back, right, he's fobbed us off with some right swaggy story about how it bit someone over at the park. The lying cunt. Fucking loved that dog! That broke my heart, that ...
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Referenced in Last Orders (2001) See more »


Little Sheila
Written by Laurel Aiken and Gil Cang
Performed by NLH with Spike 'T' and Saunders
See more »

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User Reviews

6 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

Kathy Burke portrays the battered wife extremely well - taking it as part and parcel of being an east-end wide-boy's other half. It is inenvitable that she will go back to him (Ray Winstone) after her severe beating as that's the life she knows and as she holds traditional family views of marriage she wants her child to be raised by a mother and a father. She believes in love.The extended family plays a major role in supporting her, her mother (Leila Morse) is a hardened

woman but with a heart. They are not shocked by the going-ons of the

destruction caused by alcohol and drug addition. They just get on with it and this is a powerful message that with family, love and support, you can conquer any mountain.People see it as a depressing and disturbing film but the final

gestures and actions of all the characters suggest otherwise. Gary Oldman has done a great job in directing this film and it was brave of him and his sister to tackle a very difficult subject which has obviously affected their lives so deeply.

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