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Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
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 elderly people, and their son Rory is unemployed and aggressive. The joy has gone out of Phil's and Penny's life, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they are brought together to rediscover their love. All or Nothing is set on a London working-class housing estate over a long weekend, and also tells the stories of a range of Phil and Penny's neighbors, some of whom become involved in the family's lives, and all of whom experience an emotional journey. Written by
I have just returned from a special advance showing of "All Or Nothing" at my local UGC and I must say, this film exceeded my expectations enormously.
The film is about the lives of one family in a council estate and how each member interacts with the community. The Father, Phil Bassett (Timothy Spall) works as a Taxi driver while his wife Penny (Lesley Manville) is a checkout operator at a local supermarket. They are unmarried but have two children Rachel and Rory, the former being an angst-ridden, overweight layabout who is key to the film.
Acting is superb. It is that simple. All but one performance is utterly convincing, especially Timothy Spall with his constant bemused grimace which sets the mood of both his character and the film. The one exception is Donna played by Helen Coker. Her role is played up too much and seems rather forced. Now if by any chance you're reading Helen, please don't be disheartened; I merely saw you as the "least best" of an excellent bunch and I have to criticise something!
The script is authentic, witty and full of emotion while not being repetitive (barring the word "alright"!).
"All Or Nothing" is one of the greatest portrayals of what it is REALLY like to be part of a down-on-your-luck working class family. I even believe the film ended too soon; there were a few ideas that could have been developed further. I mention this not as a criticism but as a tribute to Mike Leigh who actually made we wish this 2hr 28 minute film would go on!
Fantastic! Eight out of ten!!!
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