In the seventeen years between his first two theatrical features (1971’s BLEAK MOMENTS and 1988’s HIGH HOPES), Mike Leigh, the great humanist of British cinema, sharpened his distinctive voice and famously improvisatory process at the BBC, where he directed a string of striking, bittersweet slice-of-life dramas built around sharply etched characters. Infused with Leigh’s trademark humor, empathy, and incisive class and social critiques, these oft-neglected early works are blueprints to Leigh’s illustrious later career and brilliant showcases for many of the legendary actors who would become his most important collaborators, including Alison Steadman, Lesley Manville, Brenda Blethyn, and Timothy Spall.
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1984 • United Kingdom
Starring Brid Brennan, Des McAleer, Charles Lawson
The last film Mike Leigh directed for the BBC examines the Troubles in Northern Ireland through the stories of two working-class Belfast families—one Protestant, the other Catholic—both expecting ne...