A videotaped version of a Mike Leigh stage play (1977) that is one of his most scathing and extreme works, aptly described by one commentator as a “cocktail party from hell.” A highly insensitive, aggressive, and garish housewife “entertains” three neighbors while bickering with her uptight husband. – Jonathan Rosenbaum
One of contemporary Britain’s most renowned directors, Mike Leigh is known for his depictions of the dramas inherent in the everyday lives of regular people. Often compared to compatriot Ken Loach for his emphasis on “slice-of-life” realism (a comparison Leigh has deemed inaccurate, as his films, unlike Loach’s, have no absolute political agenda), Leigh makes films remarkable for their level-headed, unsensational portrayals of topics that would become four-hankie “message” melodramas in the hands of most Hollywood directors.
Born February 20, 1943, in Salford, Manchester, Leigh originally wanted to go into acting. While training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, however, he found himself drawn toward directing and writing, and he eventually transferred to the London Film School. He began his career on the stage, with two of his most important works, The Box Play and Bleak Moments, brought to life through collaborative experimentation during rehearsals. The latter play… read more
NOT a portrait of a monster and her victims. The fact that even when she is correct, as when she says that they should call the ambulance a second time to make sure they have the right address, she does so in her usual domineering way, is only one of 10,000 ways the film is emotional quicksilver.
A tragic version Polanski's Carnage. My favourite line is ".. Life is fight, people always seem to be against you .. " -Laurence, in half of the movie. Simple case but deep exploration. I've only seen seven films from Mike Leigh, and I hope I'm going to more films from him. Thanks Mike Leigh, realism but not melodramatic.
A rather excellent chamber piece with the oxygen slowly draining out... Grotesque and pithy by turns it’s a frequently uncomfortable riff on some favourite British topics: status, gender and class, albeit sweetened by Steadman’s hulking hostess. Technically rudimentary, but at least the dialogue and interplay aren’t lost in a swirl of showy camera moves. As ever though with Leigh there's a whiff of inverted snobbery.