In a poor working class London home Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they and their local community are brought together, and they rediscover their love.
Set in the 1880s, the story of how, during a creative dry spell, the partnership of the legendary musical/theatrical writers Gilbert and Sullivan almost dissolves, before they turn it all around and write the Mikado.
Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and Cyril's pretentious sister and philandering husband. Shirley wants a baby, but Cyril, who reads Marx and wants the world to be perfect, is reluctant. Cyril's mum locks herself out and must ask her snooty neighbors for help. Then Cyril's sister Valerie stages a surprise party for mum's 70th birthday, a disaster from start to finish. Shirley holds things together, and she and Cyril may put aside her Dutch cap after all.Written by
This is a magnificent film full of humour, dignity and tragedy. The two most compelling characters are the hirsute courier, Cyril, and his gardener girlfriend Shirley, socialists both, who have an ongoing, symbolic debate about whether to have a baby or not. In the meantime - no pun intended - the courier's mother is dying - tired, losing her short term memory, and lonely. Other important characters include two appalling yuppies - caricatures only if you had your eyes closed in 80s Britain - plus the courier's nouveau riche but working class sister and her misogynistic husband. Karl Marx's sad big head at Highgate cemetery also makes an entry into the film.
Mike Leigh is a wonderful talent - long may his film-making continue! Postscript: Great news the film is now available on DVD - see http://www.hopscotchfilms.com.au!
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