I absolutely loved with this film! The performances were painfully honest, the script was so smart, and Leigh's use of camera, particularly the long static take, was just breathtaking! Here is a great movie!
Somewhat more structured and linear than most Leigh dramas with the central story unexpectedly moving in a confined way; which is more than can be said for the superfluous subplot with Spall’s photographic vignettes merely providing a turn for the actor and adding to the length if not greater understanding of the film.
An unflinching portrait of human relations and malaise in society. It talks about regrets, family and obviously, secrets and lies. I love that there is a comedic undertone. The theme of the mask that each one puts on their face when in society is well illustrated in the photo shoots montages. This film is extremely well cast. Especially Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall. A masterpiece that deserves its Palme d'Or.
momentarily bordering on soap opera revelations towards the end, but ultimately sticking to a powerful emotional honesty and vulnerability that connects intensely. so simple, yet so impactful. a "happy" ending. performances from leigh are brutal and unimpeachable as usual.
Mike Leigh's most melodramatic melodrama. I'm surprised. For the amount of acclaim (Palme d'Or Winner), it's sure over-the-top emotionally. So I relate it to Almodovar's cinema in the sense that it's from an auteur, but soap opera almost to a fault. The culmination of Leigh's filmography is stunning: I love his characters, their strength, their sensitivity, their humanity...and their very British sensibilities.