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Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 129 min. · 2010

he temptation for Mike Leigh to torch the relationship between Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) must've been great. Everyone else around them burns down, and out. Tom and Gerri (they've grown used to jokes about their moniker) have been married for a long time. They're aged English hippies. They attended the Isle of Wight music festival, explored the globe and so on. Broadbent works as the rumpled, affectionate and reserved Tom, a geologist nearing retirement. Sheen strikes the right balance of tone, selfish pride and selflessness. She and Tom love, practically adore, their only child and son, Joe (Oliver Maltman). They have big hearts for their friends, two in particular who visit during the film's arc of the four seasons. Throughout this film, like Brenda Blethyn in Leigh's Secrets & Lies, Lesley Manville, as Gerri's work friend Mary, must achieve and hold a state of collapse (right before it all falls apart) in her face, voice, body and gesture. It's a new measure and record of endurance and inhabitance of a character. –Sean Flinn
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Director: Mike Leigh
Writer: Mike Leigh
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley, Karina Fernandez, Martin Savage, Michele Austin and Philip Davis

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