It's rare for a film maker to care about all of the characters equally. He goes to great lengths to show the child that wants to be loved in each of them, even in the ones that show up on camera for only about 15 seconds. What a masterpiece of empathy and storytelling.
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.
Fine film, charming, good-natured, empathetic. But it lacks Leigh's usual eye for the "larger world" around the characters, the abstract concepts that elevate films like Naked and Another Year way above your usual slice of life fare into a complicated arrangement of ideology, emotion, angst, happiness, and despair.