Aroview: Director Mike Leigh returns to (overly) familiar turf for this ensemble drama about dysfunctional, poverty-stricken lives of three families living in a London council estate.
His warts-and-all depiction of working class hardship here seems almost gratuitous, with little consolation in the way of humour or empathy as Timothy Spall’s doleful mini-cab driver slumps deeper into domestic distress while his neighbours struggle with alcoholism, violence and teenage pregnancy. The cast, as usual, give their all, and the film ends on an up-beat, but viewers will either embrace all or not much at all.
5 stars (Exceptional) Tale of a working-class London family, each dealing with their own complex dilemmas - it's a blisteringly accurate and sometimes too painful to look at a slice of life. No frills or big Hollywood actors, just real heart, guts & soul from a top director.~GenXGirl