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UK 2008, 133 minutes
Dir. Mike Leigh
Genres: Comedy, Drama


Aroview: An optimistic if not exactly 'feel-good' comedy-drama from veteran dir. Mike Leigh, about a London primary school teacher who greets the trials of her life and those around her with an implacable smile.

While it's a move away from 'tragedy', the director can't resist throwing in a malcontent (here a driving instructor) not just as a foil for the title character but also to impose some kind of trademark statement about English working class rage. Leigh's usual film-making methodology of letting the actors build the script through improvisation serves him only so well here, it comes off as primarily a character piece is search of narrative, and ultimately feels a little inconsequential. Sally Hawkins is an appealing presence in the lead role, but her character quirks won't be for all tastes.

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DVD Features

  • 'making of' documentary / featurette
  • extra stuff
  • aspect ratio: 16:9

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