High Hopes


On the press notes, Mike Leigh says he didn’t bank on leaving 17 years between his debut feature, Bleak Moments, and his second cinema release. Still, there’s no question that it was worth the wait. This is England – King’s Cross to be specific, the late Thatcher years. Thirtysomething bo-ho couple Cyril (Philip Davis) and Shirley (Ruth Sheen) prevaricate over procreation, while feeling disenfranchised by Tory rule and their wilted ideals. Cyril’s almost-70 mum (Edna Doré) spots the nouveau-riche yuppie neighbours (Lesley Manville, David Bamber) for what they are: grotesque – to the point of caricature, some argued. On a brief but passionate interview (no commentary, alas) Leigh takes the charge of satirising them on his beardy chin but rejects accusations of patronising the working classes. Rightly, too. Leigh’s leads exude rivers of warmth, matched by plotting that shambles towards a genuinely generous emotional peak. “Top of the world”? Too right.


Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: September 3rd 2007

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