After a rather decided departure with his 1999 homage to Gilbert and Sullivan, Topsy-Turvy, Mike Leigh returns to his usual form for All or Nothing, a melancholy look at the day-to-day lives of a dysfunctional lower-middle class British family called the Bassetts. Timothy Spall and Lesley Manville (familiar to fans of Leigh's previous films) star as Phil and Penny, a common-law husband and wife who toil their gloomy days away as a cab-driver and grocery-store cashier, respectively. When the couple come to realize the growing emptiness in their relationship, an unexpected emergency within their family brings them closer together and offers the possibility of reigniting the long-extinguished spark in their marriage. Hoping to repeat the Palm D'or win of Leigh's 1996 film Secrets and Lies, All or Nothing was screened in competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi
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This is brilliantly directed and acted. If you like independent films and foreign films and find pleasure in them, then you will love it. I don't think it is a film most younger people would care that much for. If you have been married awhile or are over thirty you will get most of the nuances of this couple's plight and their love that is revealed through the daily hardships and added crisis that comes upon them. If you are a lover of fine acting and film you will enjoy it. Timothy Spall and Leslie Manville are fine actors and it shows. Also a really fine performance by Helen Coker as Donna the
girl hopelessly and unexpectedly in a "family way."
I found it to be a thoroughly delightful film.
This movie starts out as pretty depressing - the characters are seeem to be losers. But as the story develops you really go with them and see their world from each point of view. Wondeful character development and eventually and an uplifting story.
Another grand-slam by Mike Leigh. Lesley Manville and Sally Hawkins, making her fim debut, are nothing short of brilliant. If you have seen other Leigh films and have loved them, then you will love this one too. If you haven't seen a Leigh film, check it out and begin your addiction.