Penny works at a supermarket and Phil is a gentle taxi-driver. Penny’s love for Phil has run dry and they lead joyless lives with their two children, Rachel, a cleaner, and Rory, who is unemployed and aggressive. When Rory is suddenly ill, the couple are brought together and rediscover their love.
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Broached in LIFE IS SWEET, Leigh's mastery here of exquisitely direct-seeming recording of emotion makes him the Bergman of the working classes. How to know precisely where to position and frame the perfectly cast and directed actors in their spaces, or to calibrate the distance between the bodies/faces and the camera and its movements, for the greatest, most perfect sensitivity? It's a mystery, but Mike Leigh knows.
master piece. the whole film is thoroughly crafted in a way that each subtle sentence and movement of each characther conveys its identity's density. the main family - their many problems (and, ultimately, the whole neighbourhood's problems)- is an emotional puzzle which is solved after a catharchic last half-hour caused by a simple breach in the puzzle. very good argument supported by sublime acting
'Real life' apparently, or rather the usual Leigh take on the stymied lot of the working class, permanently trapped in 1970s Marxist agitprop - regardless of time or locale - although this is admittedly less egregious than his single lens caricatures of the middle classes (re: Who's Who or High Hopes). For this outing it's the emotions of the prols' as workshop theme, typically realised as mumbling and inarticulate.
9/10. All right? All right, and so much more than that. It's powerful, harsh, and full of extreme emotions. English suburbs turn out to be a perfect background for existential despair.
"You're born alone. And you die alone. Nothing you can do about it."
The eternal sadness, existential strait, exhaustion and only a miracle can fix everything. And somehow an unpleasant event becomes the miracle which they have been waiting for. Very touching film from Leigh.
Believable drama about a family in depression, poverty, laziness, sadness and living in a loveless marriage but manage to change due to a shock in their daily routine. At the same we follow other even more hopeless people that are heading to their own downfall with no real solution at hand. Superstrong acting and the realistic setting is the strongest assets and hopefully we will see the characters again sometime.