High Hopes (1988 film)
|Directed by||Mike Leigh|
|Produced by||Victor Glynn
|Written by||Mike Leigh|
|Distributed by||Skouras Films (USA release)|
|24 September 1988|
Despite staying true to Leigh's down-at-the-heel, realist style, the film is ultimately a social comedy concerning culture clashes between different classes and belief systems. According to the critic Michael Coveney', "As in Meantime, High Hopes contrasts the economic and spiritual conditions of siblings. And in developing some of the themes in Babies Grow Old and Grown-Ups, it presents a brilliantly organised dramatic résumé of attitudes towards parturition and old age."
Cyril is a strong, old-style socialist, who despairs of his elderly working-class but Tory-voting mum; her new yuppie neighbours, the Boothe-Braines (who have purchased what was once a Council house next door); and his social-climbing sister and her crass, car-salesman husband. Cyril and Shirley are portrayed as the most decent characters in the film, despite Cyril's irascible nature. Theirs is a strong relationship, marred by Cyril's reluctance to have children and his resentment that his cause is destined to be on the losing side in history.
Awards and nominations
- European Film Awards
- Independent Spirit Awards (USA)
- Nominated: Best Foreign Film
- Venice Film Festival (Italy)
- Won: FIPRESCI Prize (Mike Leigh)
- Michael Coveney, The World according to Mike Leigh p.189
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