A long weekend in the lives of an extended family of strangers in South London. Dad and mum (Shepherd and Markham) have long since settled for habitual resentment, their general disappointment accentuated by runaway son Darren. They also have three grown daughters: Nadia (McKee) has resorted to the lonely hearts columns; Debbie (Henderson) is the eldest, with an 11-year-old boy and a good-for-nothing ex (Hart); the youngest, Molly (Parker), is pregnant, and blissfully happy with her partner, Eddie (Simm). Only Eddie's getting cold feet. Winterbottom's best film by some measure offers an intimate, suburban panorama of London life now. In the past, this director has slapped style over substance with more vigour than sensitivity; here he's opted for handheld 16mm cameras and a skeleton crew to shoot on the streets of Soho and SW1. The result rings true in a way precious few London films have managed, so that the experience of going to the movie in a local cinema practically blurs with what you've seen on screen. Not that the technique obscures the humanity in Laurence Coriat's fine screenplay, which keeps tabs on half-a-dozen emotionally deprived lives, and endows mundane occurrences with an unforced resonance. Shored up with a memorable Michael Nyman score, this achingly tender film makes most new British cinema look downright frivolous.
Cast and crew