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Tuesday, May 31, 2022
The lives of three proletarian families in London form the fabric of Leigh’s eighth theatrical feature, another vividly traced and superlatively acted portrait of everyday working-class struggle. Cabdriver Phil (Timothy Spall) and his grocery-cashier wife Penny (Lesley Manville) deal with the fallout of their heavyset son’s (James Corden) heart attack, while Penny’s colleague Maureen (Ruth Sheen) contends with her daughter’s unplanned pregnancy; meanwhile, Phil’s fellow driver Ron’s (Paul Jesson) homelife grows ever more fraught as his teenage daughter (Sally Hawkins) seemingly has eyes for two different boys, one of whom may be stalking her. As ever, Leigh’s direction of his exceptional ensemble cast is as skillful as the film’s drama is, at times painfully, truthful.