Criterion Release: Mike Leigh’s “Meantime”

Far more hopeless and disenfranchising than any dystopic sci-fi flick at its most muck and mired could be, Mike Leigh’s 1984 drama Meantime is a cold and cruel look at a few days in the life of a family on the dole at the height of Thatcher’s Britain. Barely living in a squalid public-housing flat that is literally falling apart, put-upon mother Mavis (Pam Ferris) is the only one in the house with a job, while feckless father Frank (Jeff Robert) and sons Colin (Tim Roth) and Mark (Phil Daniels) mostly lounge about watching television, occasionally popping around to the pub to score drinks off pals and bum a few smokes while doing it. [ . . . ] Read complete review at Fowler’s Flix

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Peterloo: Mike Leigh film releases first photo

Mike Leigh’s first film in more than three years is shaping up to be a marked change of pace for the celebrated English filmmaker.Released early Thursday, the first official still from Leigh’s historical drama Peterloo — a dramatization based on the titular massacre — sets the stage for a grim turn of events, one that ultimately leaves roughly a dozen people dead on the streets of Manchester in 1819.Starring Rory Kinnear, Christopher Eccleston, Maxine Peak, and David Bamber, Peterloo follows [ . . . ] More: Peterloo: Mike Leigh film releases first photo

Family Flavours in Mike Leigh’s ‘Life is Sweet’ 

Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet
Mike Leigh’s Life Is Sweet

Children are seldom seen in the cinema of Mike Leigh. This absence is doubtless due to the strictures of the director’s character- and story-building methods, which might make the participation of child actors in Leighland rather problematic. In fact, the only notable child protagonist in Leigh’s cinema is Charlie (Charlie Difford), Poppy’s student in Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and even here the boy’s problems are merely used as a plot device to bring together the heroine and a social worker love interest. Though the issue is sometimes thematised in Leigh’s portraits of couples who are unable to conceive, the absence of children can seem a significant blind spot in films that clearly aspire to the presentation of full, detailed, realistically depicted social worlds.

Read Full Review at: Family Flavours in Mike Leigh’s ‘Life is Sweet’ | PopMatters

Silent Oscars: 10 Nonspeaking Roles Nominated At Academy Awards

Sally Hawkins is currently at the top of Gold Derby’s Best Actress Oscar predictions for her role in Guillermo Del Toro‘s film “The Shape of Water.” The movie from the director of “Pan’s Labyrinth” tells the story of a mute young woman working as a janitor. Should Hawkins succeed in getting a nomination for this film, it wouldn’t be the first time that an actor has been nominated or even in some cases won an Oscar for a role in which they didn’t speak, or spoke very little. In the above photo gallery, Gold Derby looks back on 10 actors who have earned Academy Awards attention for such roles. Will Hawkins join this list?

More at: Silent Oscars: 10 Nonspeaking Roles Nominated At Academy Awards – Goldderby