Bleak Moments

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Time Out says

Fri Nov 5 2010

A long, brooding and often painfully funny film, this depicts the interacting lives of sad, lonely people: a secretary in her late twenties stuck at home with sherry, paperbacks and a mentally-retarded older sister; her prematurely spinsterish workmate similarly imprisoned with a cadaverous hollow-cheeked mother (Smith again splendid); a shy schoolmaster and a folk-minded stumblebum hippy (Mike Bradwell), all drifting between repression and loneliness as the action shifts from drawing-room to garage, to classroom, to a restaurant complete with one of the world’s most truculent waiters. Seeing this film after so long one is struck yet again by the enormous honesty, intelligence and compassion of Leigh’s work which may explain why despite its occasional awkwardness and refusal to compromise he has such a large and devoted following. Raitt and Joolie Cappleman as the pitiable typists stand out with Smith in a fine cast set in the clear, calm Eastman sea of Leigh’s cinematic imagination.
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Release details

UK release:

1971

Duration:

111 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Mike Leigh

Cast:

Linda Beckett, Mike Bradwell, Joolia Cappleman, Eric Allan, Sarah Stephenson, Anne Raitt, Liz Smith

Songs:

Mike Bradwell

Art Director:

Richard Rambaut

Editor:

Les Blair

Cinematography:

Bahram Manocheri

Screenwriter:

Mike Leigh

Producer:

Les Blair

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