7.4/10
7,686
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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Raymond
... Valerie
... Billy
Laila Morse ... Janet
Edna Doré ... Kath
Chrissie Cotterill ... Paula
Jon Morrison ... Angus
... Mark
... Danny
Terry Rowley ... M.C. in Club
Sam Miller ... Club Comic
Leah Fitzgerald ... Michelle
Gerry Bromfield ... Drug Dealer
... Schmuddie
Sid Golder ... Old Guy in Window
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

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Language:

Release Date:

6 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Erään perheen elämästä  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Oldman's first and only writing and directing credit. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Valerie: [to Ray] When you go out, you go out with your mates, and when you are in, you're pissed out and your brain's asleep in front of the fucking television. I turn the television off, go up to bed, you follow me up at three o'clock in the morning stinking of booze. That's what I get. Either that or you're knocking me about. I'm 30 today, you know, and I feel so fucking old. You know, I'm tired, you know, I wanna be able to look back and say, "Yeah, I had a bit of fun," you know, when I'm old, ...
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Soundtracks

Peculiar Groove
Written by Franc Ashman, Felix MacIntosh and Spider Johnson
Performed by Frances
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User Reviews

 
No cockney gangsters, No Hugh Grant. Nuff said.
19 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

The words "gritty", "British" and "drama" usually and rightfully condemn a film to the Guy "Windsor" Ritchie hall of excrement . Having seen these terms applied to Oscar contenders like "Goodbye Charlie Bright", "Rancid aluminium" and "Love, honour and obey", I wasn't really expecting much from this film. Saying I was wrong would be a huge understatement. "Nil by Mouth" is an awesome achievement. A razor sharp dissection of a working class south London family that delivers the required punch on so many levels that you need to have a wash after watching it. It covers a vast spectrum of emotions that will see you (especially if you're British) laugh, cry and more often than not, hold your head in despair at witnessing an all too true account of what it is to be at the bottom of the British class system. It is unflinchingly brutal and somewhat depressing, yet at the same time shows how with guts, determination and a healthy sense of humour, people can survive even the most bleak and hopeless of situations. Kathy Burke is outstanding and Ray Winstone is dependable as ever, but Gary Oldman's screenplay and direction are the stars of the show. This script could stand on it's own as a fine social commentary on par, and not dissimilar from John King's "The Football Factory" and "Headhunters". Thankfully Oldman has also realised that in terms of direction, "gritty" does not have to mean the static, cold and quite frankly boring as hell style that so many British films have. The camera moves with a documentary feel energy, yet the slick cinematography keeps it from ever looking cheap. Quite simply one of the greatest British films of all time. 9/10


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