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CANNES 2002

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Leigh: my Subway Stories

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- With All or Nothing, one of the most awaited films to compete in Cannes, Mike Leigh returns to the theme of daily discontent

The extraordinarily intense characters brimming with humanity that are usually portrayed by British director Mike Leigh return to the screen with «All of Nothing», an English-French production now competing at the Festival. «It´s a very emotional film, about deep feelings that grow within and outside of the family, about the difficulty of having to face life,» explained the director during his meeting with the press..
And this film certainly does describe many emotions. It is a desolate portrait, but not totally hopeless, of a group of Londoners whose lives intersect and bounce off each other: Phil is a taxi driver who witnesses tens of existences slide into the back seat of his car every day. His live-in girlfriend Penny, no longer loves him and considers him to be a loser. Their son Rory is obese and aggressive, while Rachel, their daughter, works in a nursing home. They are surrounded by a social class somewhere along the line between being well-off and poverty. The burden of living weighs heavily on all of them, indifferently. But solidarity, mutual respect, and the need to love and be loved makes their solitude less intolerable. «These characters are all journeying toward their own destinies,» explains Mike Leigh, who has already been awarded in Cannes for «Naked» and «Secrets and Lies». «My inspiration? The London underground, that I take every day. Any inspiration I may be looking for, I can always find there.» br> All or Nothingalso confirms the talent of Lesley Manville and of actor Timothy Spall, who is already known for his performance in Topsy-Turvy (always by Leigh) Hamlet, Intimacy (), LuckyBreak, and Vanilla Sky. But this film also reveals emerging young talents that deserve to be mentioned here: Alison Garland, James Corden, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Mays, Helen Coker.

(Translated from Italian)

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