Even though Ibsen is echoing amongst dilapidated brick walls and sticky wall-to-wall carpets, the poetry at play here presupposes the presence of a camera. A camera which worships the eye—this glassy, most sensitive organ with a black dot in the middle, which is actually a physical hole leading into (out of?) the nebulous abyss within. This is all about seeing, being seen and making seeing possible.
The latter half of this film is astounding. The demonstration of connectivity and openness is so raw and at times difficult to watch. The first third, however, is tedious at best and needs more of an emphasis on the other worlds this fragmented family comes from.
Re-watched this after many years and it's still one of the most exceptional films ever. The way Leigh uses the camera (those lingering shots) offer so much detail and depth to the dialogue. And it's a cast who are up to the task - especially Brenda Blethyn who is sublime.
Sometimes I wish somebody would give me a book titled “everything you don’t know about yourself”. Or something titled “every thing you missed out on, that could’ve really happened”. The past can be frightening, but who remembers what hasn’t happened? Sometimes I wish I could choose my past, things I wanted to remember or forget. And Sometimes I wish I could just look at the clouds and forget everything.
Die Eskalation der Wahrheit und der Gefühle in einer Familie, tabuisiert und furchterregend, führt hier auf den Weg der Heilung, in aller Fragilität. Das tut gut und gibt ein Stück Zuversicht für alle, die es wagen möchten und für die es noch nicht zu spät geworden ist. Ein sehr sensibler, unaufdringlicher und mutiger Film.
There are some amazing scenes, some moments of brilliant performance and I was quite moved. There are some things in Mike Leighs style I don't like though (over the top acting, characters who seem to do things in order to move the plot forward, bordering melodrama) but he makes them work in this 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.
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.
Oeuvre émouvante, d'une délicate présence humaine, magnifiquement réalisée et interprétée, revue près d'une vingtaine d'années plus tard, confirmant bien sûr notre premier "diagnostic" mais avec un certain bémol. En effet, quelques scènes trop longues et certains moments dramatiques surjoués, surtout de la part de Brenda Blethyn et de Claire Rushbrook, tempèrent légèrement l'enthousiasme initial. www.cinefiches.com
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.
Such a beautiful film! It's a story about the most dysfunctional family you could ever imagine, each of them going about their days bottling up all the sadness and anger, keeping the truth from each other. The 'secrets & lies' that have torn them apart for so long are what bring them together in the end. Superbly acted, Blethyn and Spall deliver especially raw performances. You just can't help getting sucked in.