While Leigh has done this kind of 'working-class family in crisis' comedy-drama before, it should be emphasised that he's never done it quite so well. From the appropriately Ozu-like opening shot to the dark, almost Bergman-esque intensity of the climactic confrontation between a supermarket cashier (Manville) and the distraught minicab-driver husband she feels she no longer loves (Spall), the director and his cast provide a persuasive, dramatically powerful account of London housing-estate lives blighted by economic hardship, emotional inarticulacy, glaring resentment and impoverished hopes. A couple of the secondary characters - neighbours going through their own upheavals (mostly, as with the protagonists and their teenage kids, to do with generational tension) - are a little less subtly drawn and played, but overall the film is perceptive, often hilarious, and sometimes quite harrowing in its stark, brutal honesty.
All or Nothing
Cast and crew