Directed by Mike Leigh
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1984 • United Kingdom
Starring Tim Roth, Phil Daniels, Gary Oldman
A slow-burning depiction of economic degradation in Thatcher’s England, Mike Leigh’s MEANTIME is the culmination of the writer-director’s pioneering work in television. Unemployment is rampant in London’s working-class East End, where a middle-aged couple and their two sons languish in a claustrophobic public-housing flat. As the brothers (Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) grow increasingly disaffected, Leigh punctuates the grinding boredom of their daily existence with tense encounters, including with a priggish aunt (Marion Bailey) who has managed to become middle-class and a blithering skinhead on the verge of psychosis (a scene-stealing Gary Oldman, in his first major role). Informed by Leigh’s now trademark improvisational process and propelled by the lurching rhythms of its Beckett-like dialogue, MEANTIME is an unrelenting, often blisteringly funny look at life on the dole.
Up Next in Directed by Mike Leigh
Life Is Sweet
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1990 • United Kingdom
Starring Claire Skinner, Jane Horrocks, Jim Broadbent
This invigorating film from Mike Leigh was his first international sensation. Melancholy and funny by turns, it is an intimate portrait of a working-class family in a suburb just north of London—...
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1993 • United Kingdom
The brilliant and controversial Naked, from director Mike Leigh, stars David Thewlis as Johnny, a charming and eloquent but relentlessly vicious drifter. Rejecting anyone who might care for him, the volcanic Johnny hurls himself around London on a n...
Secrets & Lies
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1996 • United Kingdom
Mike Leigh's Palme D'Or winning family drama concerns a working class woman who is shocked when the mixed-race daughter she gave up at birth tracks her down.