Limited in its technique (this is essentially a filmed play for television; the set-up closer to a sitcom) but nonetheless expressive of Leigh's great abilities as a dramatist & director. Exploring his early themes of the class struggle, changing generational attitudes & the inability of people to connect, the film is best celebrated for its three-dimensional characters & the rich performances of the ensemble.
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.
Although a plain example (in terms of technique) this perhaps is the most conspicuous example of what the British could once take for granted: three or four new television plays a week that would enthrall, perplex or merely divert. Either way a cultural tragedy and an awful indication of the downward trajectory of television since the 1990s. The play itself? Taut, telling and oh so claustrophobic.