FIVE DECADES OF MIKE LEIGH

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - INTERVIEW MIKE LEIGH -

Abi­gail’s Party (1977) A cer­tain class of sub­ur­ban 1970s cul­ture is skew­ered in Leigh’s ruth­less TV drama. Ali­son Stead­man cre­ates an im­mor­tal mon­ster in the dom­i­neer­ing Bev­erly.

High Hopes (1988) Leigh’s study of an ex­tended work­ing-class fam­ily in north Lon­don. A sav­age (if not al­ways sub­tle) in­dict­ment of high Thatcherism.

Se­crets and Lies (1996) Mar­i­anne Jean-Bap­tiste picked up an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for her role as a black woman, adopted at birth, who dis­cov­ers that her mum is the equally Os­car-nom­i­nated Brenda Blethyn.

Vera Drake (2004) Stun­ning per­for­mance by Imelda Staunton as a woman who pro­vides abor­tions in 1960s Lon­don. Re­jected by Cannes be­fore go­ing on to win the Golden Lion at Venice.

Mr Turner (2014) Sin­gu­lar study of painter JMW Turner star­ring a shuf­fling, an­i­mal­is­tic Ti­mothy Spall.

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