Life Is Sweet

Overview

Mike Leigh's situation comedy about a lower middle-class family in the London suburbs is a slice-of-life chronicle that subtly reveals the pain and rage underneath the surface of day-to-day conventions. The youngish parents, Wendy Alison Steadman and Andy Jim Broadbent live with their 20-something twin daughters, Nicola Jane Horrocks and Natalie Claire Skinner. Natalie, a plumber's assistant, is clean-cut and forever looks on the bright side of life. Nicola, who is unemployed, has nothing but contempt for ...
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Overview

Mike Leigh's situation comedy about a lower middle-class family in the London suburbs is a slice-of-life chronicle that subtly reveals the pain and rage underneath the surface of day-to-day conventions. The youngish parents, Wendy Alison Steadman and Andy Jim Broadbent live with their 20-something twin daughters, Nicola Jane Horrocks and Natalie Claire Skinner. Natalie, a plumber's assistant, is clean-cut and forever looks on the bright side of life. Nicola, who is unemployed, has nothing but contempt for conventionality. As the daughters deal with the obsessively sunny Wendy and the lackadaisical Andy, and confront a succession of ne'er-do-well friends and neighbors, a darker picture is painted of this normal family -- particularly Nicola, who is convinced she is fat and ugly despite her emaciated appearance, with Natalie being a constant rebuke to her.
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Special Features

New restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director of photography Dick Pope; New audio commentary featuring director Mike Leigh; 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 proposed television series Five-Minute Films, with a new audio introduction by Leigh; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by critic David Sterritt
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
"Devised and directed" by Mike Leigh, Life is Sweet (1991) concentrates on the small epiphanies, humorous eccentricities, and poignant failures that mark an oddball working-class family's quotidian existence in a London suburb. Working with extensive rehearsals and improvisations rather than a pre-prepared screenplay, Leigh and his cast focus on telling details of behavior and dialogue, revealing the full complexity of the relationships through the haphazard rhythms of daily life. Leigh's simple visual style emphasizes the nuances of the central performances, allowing the characters to be more than just the caricatures they may initially appear to be. Despite the moments of despair, the comic interludes and final moments of quiet reconciliation suggest that the title means what it says without irony. TV and theater director Leigh's second feature after a seventeen year hiatus from the movies, Life Is Sweet bolstered the cinematic reputation reestablished by 1988's High Hopes, with Jane Horrocks earning the Los Angeles Film Critics' Circle prize for Best Supporting Actress.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/28/2013
  • UPC: 715515105514
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Color / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 21,996

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alison Steadman Wendy
Jim Broadbent Andy
Timothy Spall Aubrey
Claire Skinner Natalie
Jane Horrocks Nicola
David Thewlis Nicola's Lover
Moya Brady Paula
Stephen Rea Patsy
David Neilson Steve
Jack Thorpe Baker Nigel
Harriet Thorpe Customer
Technical Credits
Mike Leigh Director, Screenwriter
Sophie Becher Art Director
Simon Channing-Williams Producer
Alison Chitty Production Designer
Jon Gregory Editor
Lindy Hemming Costumes/Costume Designer
Dick Pope Cinematographer
Rachel Portman Score Composer
Carolyn Walsh Makeup
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Life Is Sweet
1. Dance Class [3:18]
2. "You Want to Be With Us" [8:07]
3. Patsy's Magical Mystery Tour [5:45]
4. Aubrey and His Pineapple [5:25]
5. Tempted [6:04]
6. The Regret Rien [3:18]
7. Kiwi Waitress [5:23]
8. Nicola's Secret [7:25]
9. A Day's Work [2:48]
10. Chocolate Sauce [5:49]
11. Health and Safety [5:34]
12. The Menu [5:16]
13. Kids and Bastards [5:46]
14. Falling-Down Drunk [10:11]
15. Fake Feminist [9:56]
16. An Ordinary Spoon [5:25]
17. "It's Okay" [7:52]
1. Color Bars [:20]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Life Is Sweet
   Play The Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary
      Commentary: On
      Commentary: Off
   Mike Leigh at the National Film Theatre
      Play
   Five-Minute Films
      Play All
      Probation
      The Birth of the Goalie of the 2001 F.A. Cup Final
      Old Chums
      A Light Snack
      Afternoon
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