Skip to main content
Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1988 • United Kingdom
Starring Phil Davis, Ruth Sheen, Edna Doré
True to its title, this slice-of-life satire is one of director Mike Leigh’s warmest and most optimistic films—though it’s still laced with more than a touch of bittersweet melancholy. Focusing on counterculture couple Cyril (Phil Davis) and Shirley (Ruth Sheen)—a pair of generous, pot-smoking Marxists wrestling with the decision of whether or not to have a baby—and their materialistic, middle-class extended family, HIGH HOPES offers an at once affectionate and slyly critical portrait of generational, social, and class divides within Thatcher-era Britain.