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.
Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for elderly people, and their son Rory is unemployed and aggressive. The joy has gone out of Phil's and Penny's life, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they are brought together to rediscover their love. All or Nothing is set on a London working-class housing estate over a long weekend, and also tells the stories of a range of Phil and Penny's neighbors, some of whom become involved in the family's lives, and all of whom experience an emotional journey.Written by
British people shout at each other in a housing project. A marriage is put to the test.
This probably impressed me less than any other film by Mike Leigh that I've seen. But I mean that more as a compliment to Leigh than as a criticism of the film because its quite good by any normal standards. There's an odd quality to its narrative structure. The film has two distinctive halves. The first deals with the collective life of a housing project in Kent and seems almost like a British-ization of Bela Tarr's "Satantengo." It's relentlessly bleak- miserable people screaming at each other in conversations that go nowhere- and at times comes close to self-parody. I don't think I've ever heard the phrases "F--- off!" "You make me sick!" and "Care for a cup of tea then?" so many times in one hour. Yet, it retains a grim power, if for no other reason than the moments of mesmerizing cinematography by Dick Pope- its Leigh's visually splashiest film since "Naked"- and the characteristically wonderful score by Andrew Dickson. The second half focuses much more conventionally on one family, and is, taken in and of itself, one of the most warm and sentimental works Leigh has produced. Timothy Spall gives another great performance as a genuinely philosophical, and lazy, man. His marriage is put to the test. You feel happy at the out-come, but not sure its in anyone in the family's best-interest.
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