Life Is Sweet Page #2

Synopsis: Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to waitress at a friend's new restaurant and dotes on Andy, a cook who forever puts off home remodeling projects, and with a drunken friend, buys a broken down lunch wagon. Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber; she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. How they interact and play out family conflict and love is the film's subject.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Mike Leigh
Production: Republic Pictures Home Video
  8 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

Shame though isn't it

They were such lovely

little dolly what's it's

Sitting there in their

matching little outfits

My little Natalie and

my little Nicola

and now look at them

Oh get a sick bucket

and when you have a bath Nicola, don't leave

the towels on the bathroom floor stinking wet

Here we go

Well how many times

have I got to tell you?

It's just two simple

little movements

Down and up and pop

it on the towel rail

Don't be patronising

and I won't tell you again about

using my cotton wool balls

Oh don't be

so selfish

What do you want two baths

a day for anyway?

What, are you

taking their side now?

I'm not taking anyone's side

I'm just asking you a simple question

Yeah well don't

Here you are And

Oh cheers

Here you are Nat


Don't light that cigarette

Nicola, we're eating

Don't eat

It's lunch time, that's what

you do at lunchtime eat

What's lunchtime anyway?

It's only a convention

Nicola if you want to smoke while

we're eating go up to your room alright

Anyway if you smoked less and you ate more

you wouldn't be sitting there looking like a skeleton

It's better than looking

like a beached whale

Oh thank you

Anyway your Dad likes something

to grab hold of of the night

What blubber?


Me little

love handles

We got a set each

ain't we Andy

Oh you're disgusting

Oh shut up

Those sandwiches stink

Listen Nicola I told you if you don't

like it you know what you can do

Yeah well I'm going -


Well go

on then

In a minute

You can't

go can you?

What's keeping

you Nicola? eh?

She's bored

See you want to be with us

so why don't you just act normal



How about having a little go

at the patio today? Please

Not today Wen

Why not?

It's gonna

rain ain't it

It don't look

like rain to me

I don't want to get all me sand and cement

out and have it piss down on me, do I?

Well have a go at the bathroom then

finish off me tiling

Yeah could do -


Hang on hang on -


Ain't got

no grout

Oh typical

Well I can

get you grout

Eh? -

From work


Well no not today

it's Sunday, tomorrow

Water-proof grout?

Of course it's gonna be water-proof

grout, it's for a bathroom

Yeah there's grout and there's

water-proof grout isn't there

Allow me to know

Just make sure what you

get is water-proof grout

Don't panic, I'll get

you water-proof grout

Great, I'll do it

next weekend

Can I have that

in writing please

I have to say Wend

this lamb is delicious

Oh is it? good

and the tiles are in the cupboard

under the stairs right

Nice and pink, beautiful isn't it -

Yeah it's nice

Are you eating

yours missus

What's it

to you?

She cooked it

that's what it is to her

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Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh (born 20 February 1943) is an English writer and director of film and theatre. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before honing his directing skills at East 15 Acting School and further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid-1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between theatre work and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterised by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include the comedy-dramas Life is Sweet (1990) and Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biographical film Topsy-Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are the black comedy-drama Naked (1993), for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and Palme d'Or-winning drama Secrets & Lies (1996), the Golden Lion winning working-class drama Vera Drake (2004), and the Palme d'Or nominated biopic Mr. Turner (2014). Some of his notable stage plays include Smelling A Rat, It's A Great Big Shame, Greek Tragedy, Goose-Pimples, Ecstasy, and Abigail's Party.Leigh is known for his lengthy rehearsal and improvisation techniques with actors to build characters and narrative for his films. His purpose is to capture reality and present "emotional, subjective, intuitive, instinctive, vulnerable films." His aesthetic has been compared to the sensibility of the Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu. His films and stage plays, according to critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period." Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked—and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years—including Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent." Ian Buruma, writing in The New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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