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Mike Leigh Retrospective

The appalling Beverley (played by Alison Steadman, a Leigh regular) has arranged a small party amongst a few neighbours, which provides the perfect opportunity to display her vast array of cultural pretensions and affectations, much to the distress of her husband Laurence, a go-getting real estate ... Read more
Adapted from his 1970 stage production, Bleak Moments not only represents Mike Leigh's feature film debut but also establishes the characteristic method of mood of his output, a stylistic signature which has been described as 'heightened realism'. The film revolves around Sylvia (Anne Raitt), a ... Read more
Two couples, one Catholic, one Protestant, are near neighbours in Belfast. They have nothing in common, save the fact that both women are expecting their first babies, which will be born on the same day in the same Belfast hospital. From this ingenious premise, Leigh and cast bring a human face to ... Read more
No Mike Leigh film better illustrates the unique blend of comedy and drama that have come to be a trademark of his work than Grown Ups, which moves from heart-rendering pathos to hilarious, chaotic sit-com. ... Its central couple, Dick and Mandy, are the young newlyweds settling into their first ... Read more
An early BBC work, Hard Labour continues the understated, downbeat style of Bleak Moments in what may be Leigh's most poignant portrait, that of a middle-aged working class woman whose life is a never-ending grind of housework; either for her grumbling, thankless husband or the equally thankless ... Read more
Leigh's melancholy variation on 'Postman's Knock' centres on three postmen whose domestic lives on a suburban estate are more loosely (and painfully) entangled than they realise. The sexual conquests (if such a glamourous term is applicable here) of one of the 'posties' opens a can of worms that no ... Read more
Leigh's best-known film in Australia is the most sophisticated of his television-films and one of the great British films of the decade. Made not for the BBC but for Central Television, the film was thus able to be screened widely on the festival circuit (MFF '84) and served for many as an ... Read more
A 'post-hippie' couple take a camping holiday in Devon, determined to escape the bustle of the city. Leigh's brilliantly observed comedy will have you loathing the officious husband within minutes, but ultimately caring for their frightened interdependence in a hostile world. ... Read more
Made early in Leigh's career at the BBC, but not screened until the 1982 Mike Leigh Retrospective on BBC-2, this is a series of 5 short vignettes, each five minutes in length, each designed to capture and condense a fleeting idea. ... Read more
This tale of young love focuses on the romantic ebb of love in the life of a rather shambling undertaker's assistant. ... Read more
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