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A Way of Life (2004)

 -  Drama  -  12 November 2004 (UK)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 516 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 26 critic

At 17 LeighAnne Williams has a six month old baby to look after, with only the help of three teenage squatters who flog stolen gear to make ends meet. A neighbour (actually from Turkey) ... See full summary »

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Title: A Way of Life (2004)

A Way of Life (2004) on IMDb 6.8/10

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10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephanie James ...
Leigh-Anne Williams
Gary Sheppeard ...
Robbie Matthews
Nathan Jones ...
Gavin Williams
Dean Wong ...
Stephen Rajan
Sara Lloyd-Gregory ...
Julie Osman (as Sara Gregory)
Oliver Haden ...
Hassan Osman
...
Annette
Eli Williams ...
Rebecca Williams
Darcy Williams ...
Rebecca Williams
Lynsey Richards ...
Helen
...
Social Worker
Amy Morgan ...
Karen Williams
Gareth Gethyn Evans ...
Evin
Philip Howe ...
Jacob
Ri Richards ...
Brenda Williams
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Storyline

At 17 LeighAnne Williams has a six month old baby to look after, with only the help of three teenage squatters who flog stolen gear to make ends meet. A neighbour (actually from Turkey) across the street becomes target to her growing paranoia that Social Services are going to take her daughter, Rebecca, away from her. Her behavior becoming increasingly desperate as her delusions over her neighbor grow. She convinces Steven, Gavin, and Robbie he needs a lesson. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

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In the real world there are no happy endings

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Drama

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12 November 2004 (UK)  »

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A Way of Life  »

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Soundtracks

Body Parts
Written by Paul Biggs
Performed by Roosvelt
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User Reviews

 
"A powerful and unsentimental directorial debut..."
19 July 2012 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

British screenwriter, director and former actress Amma Asante's feature film debut which she wrote, was screened in the Discovery section at the 29th Toronto International Film Festival in 2004, the Zabaltegi New Directors section at the 52nd San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2004 and in the New British Cinema section at the 48th London Film Festival in 2004. It is a UK production which was shot on locations in Swansea and Cardiff in South Wales, UK and produced by producer and director Peter Edwards, producer and director Charlie Hanson and producer Patrick Cassavetti. It tells the story about 17-year-old Leigh-Anne Williams, a single mother who lives in a deteriorated council flat in a harsh area in Cardiff with her daughter Rebecca. Leigh-Anne is in an ongoing argument with a Turkish immigrant in her neighbourhood, is frequently visited by a social worker, spends most of her time with her brother and his two friends who are juvenile delinquents and though knowing that it might lead to the person that she loves the most in the world will be taken away from her, she participates in their criminal activities and disregards the mother of the father of her daughter who wants Rebecca to live with her.

Finely and engagingly directed by British filmmaker Amma Asante, this bleak and distinct social-realist drama which is narrated from the protagonist's point of view, draws a moving portrayal of an adolescent girl with a harrowing background story who is struggling to survive and raise her daughter in a loveless place. While notable for it's gritty and naturalistic urban milieu depictions, the fine production design by production designer and art director Hayden Pearce and cinematography by English cinematographer Ian Wilson, this at times violent fictional tale which examines themes like family relations, identity, racism, urban decay, youth criminality and survival, contains a profound score by British musician David Gray.

This character-driven and compelling story about a girl in the adolescence-adulthood transition with no real options and no reliable friends or family members who are looking out for her best interest, is impelled and reinforced by it's interweaving stories, various characters, raw and unrestrained dialog, cogent narrative structure and the prominent and expressive acting performance by Welsh actress Stephanie James in her first feature film role, which earned her the Best Actress Award at the 7th International Bratislava Film Festival in 2005. A powerful and unsentimental directorial debut which gained, among other awards, the Alfred Dunhill UK Film Talent Award at the 48th BFI London Film Festival in 2004 and the Carl Foreman Award for special achievement by a British Director/Producer or Writer in their first feature film Amma Asante at the 58th British Academy Film Awards in 2005.


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