Balance is quickly restored when he disappears, but the over-the-top acting is indeed quite disappointing. They are darker, a lot more intense, and have characters that get under your skin. The, by turns, tragi-comic story follows the fortunes of a working-class family over a few weeks one summer. Please by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. Despite her parents insisting otherwise, Nicola is convinced that she was a mistake that should have never happened, which is why she no longer likes to eat. The outlandish idiosyncrasy of the performances, combined with a pastel-washed observational style, at first creates the impression of a farce shot on home video.
Nicola really is seriously disturbed - convinced she is ugly and fat - and the sunny cheerfulness of her sister acts only as a daily depressant. Nicola, whom we know is intelligent, cannot bring herself to do this: she is compelled to always show herself in the worst light. According to Leigh this was a source of some discomfort to Stephen Rea who played the character, since Rea is a supporter of the team's. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. The twins know almost everything about each other, but several important secrets have never been openly discussed, and now they are, as the family's underlying problems come out into the open. The film ends with Natalie and Nicola sitting peacefully in the evening sunshine in the back garden. Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet tiptoes the fine line that separates comedy and drama.
Mike Leigh's first international hit, Life Is Sweet, is also his most optimistic film. Alternatively, it could have you reaching for a jar of peanut butter. We love you, you stupid girl! Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber; she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet is a strikingly real film. The filmmaker, , works in a unique way: He assembles his actors, and then they spend weeks or months devising the screenplay by improvising together. The chemistry the characters they play have on screen is amazing and I could see them being together in real life.
Aubrey gets hopelessly drunk, takes to the pavement and rails against the world, tells Wendy that he fancies her, starts taking his clothes off and passes out, 'a quivering, sobbing gelatinous blob of disappointment. Which, with the sublime acting of Chris Messina and Abigail Spencer makes this movie a great watch. The ugliness of true life is shown beside its mundane beauty. The audio has excellent depth and crispness. Watching this movie made me realize how boring and thin many movies are; how they substitute plots for the fascinations of life. It is the type of film which some people would want to see only once because it perfectly sums up their lives - and these lives are anything but sweet.
But the camera isn't static either — it follows closely but carefully the protagonists it is most interested in observing. During the afternoon, whilst the rest of the family are out at work, Nicola's lover unnamed, played by comes to the family home to have sex with her. Will the cloud over Nicola's head ever lift? At times it feels like a documentary feature — after Leigh introduces the main characters he simply steps back and begins observing their daily triumphs and failures. Aubrey , a hyperactive but emotionally labile family friend, is opening a Parisian-themed restaurant named. Patsy is a supporter of club. Shortly after Aubrey opens his bistro, Andy breaks his ankle, Natalie announces that she is going on vacation to America, and Nicola begins to suspect that her parents may actually like her. The charm of the film comes from the sense of freedom it exudes.
Telecine supervisor: Dick Pope, Lee Kline. The set contains a newly restored 2K transfer, with special features including a new audio commentary from Mike Leigh, an audio recording of a 1991 interview with Leigh at the National Film Theatre in London, five short films written and directed by Leigh for the television series Five-Minute Films, a new introduction by Leigh, and a booklet featuring an essay from critic. How they interact and play out family conflict and love is the film's subject. Coward and Lean pat their characters on the back. It appears that Nicola can only be aroused by a combination of light bondage and the consumption of from her chest — a practice to which he only reluctantly agrees.
He and Wendy were married when they were quite young, and have grown up together, learning some hard lessons along the way. The worst ones are with Spall's loner, whose cartoonish behavior pushes the film into an entirely new territory. Some of the most touching moments, however, arrive when multiple characters can be induced to stay in the shot. The script was developed by Leigh and the cast, employing his established practice of collectively and rehearsing for several weeks prior to shooting. Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber; she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. They are imperfect, vulnerable and naïve individuals whose lives follow a predictable route. Horricks gives a startling good performance as the disturbed Nicola: she drips with self-loathing, but inspires pity.
The mother, Wendy, who appears a scatterbrain at first, emerges as a dignified, wise and compassionate woman, as she responds in a touching scene to her troubled daughter Nicola. At times the film is irresistibly funny, especially when the main characters in it question and confront each other, but other times it is seriously depressing. Wendy receives the news with a characteristic mixture of sympathy and amusement. Wendy accepts a part-time job as waitress in the restaurant, but her and Andy's initial confidence in the scheme is undermined by Aubrey's unorthodox approach to the interior décor a cluttered, half-realised combination of outmoded French clichés, such as a bicycle in the bay window, and of tasteless such as a stuffed cat's head framed by broken accordion sconces and by his menu. When it's finished, they start shooting, having in vented the characters from the inside out. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to waitress at a friend's new restaurant and dotes on Andy, a cook who forever puts off home remodeling projects, and with a drunken friend, buys a broken down lunch wagon. That, I think, is Leigh's message.