High Hopes

Film

Comedy

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Time Out says

Mike Leigh describes this film (his first for the big screen since his debut in 1971 with Bleak Moments) as his most optimistic work to date; and in the splendidly unfashionable figures of Cyril and Shirley (Davis and Sheen), two down-market residents of old King's Cross, comes an enormous upsurge of warmth, despite Cyril's continuing confusion on the subject of procreation in a divided world. Less successful are the nastier creations of Leigh's blend of improvisation and script: the monstrous car salesman Martin and his consumerist spouse (Jackson and Tobias); two yuppie neighbours played by Bamber and Manville with a permanent sneer on their minds. But in the figure which draws all these strands together for a very amusing birthday party, Cyril's ageing and indomitable mum (Doré), he offers a superbly crafted and unsentimentalised study of age and survival. Very long, prone to the longueur, but finally triumphant in its sombre, raw meditation on how we live.
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Release details

UK release:

1988

Duration:

112 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Mike Leigh

Cast:

Lesley Manville, Heather Tobias, Philip Jackson, Edna Doré, Ruth Sheen, Philip Davis, David Bamber

Music:

Andrew Dickson

Production Designer:

Diana Charnley

Editor:

Jon Gregory

Cinematography:

Roger Pratt

Screenwriter:

Mike Leigh

Producer:

Victor Glynn, Simon Channing-Williams

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