All or Nothing

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.

Release details

Duration: 128 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mike Leigh
Screenwriter: Mike Leigh
Cast: Lesley Manville
Timothy Bateson
Ruth Sheen
Edna Doré
Alison Garland
Marion Bailey
Timothy Spall

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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