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All Or Nothing (2002)


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Three-time Oscar®-nominated* writer/director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Secrets & Lies) delivers this "rewarding vibrant poetic slice-of-life drama" (Variety) about an ordinary family dealing with the complexities of life and a crisis that takes them on a tumultuous emotional journey. In a crowded South London apartment building, Penny, a working mom, struggles to keep her wayward daughter, her lazy son and her disillusioned partner on the right path. But when tragedy befalls one of her loved ones, she finds that support comes from the most unexpected places and brings the most surprising results. *1999: Original Screenplay, Topsy-Turvy; 1996: Director, Original Screenplay, Secrets & Lies

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Writer-director Mike Leigh, after a brief detour into the period drama of Topsy-Turvy, returns to the lives of contemporary working-class Brits. Phil (longtime Leigh collaborator Timothy Spall, Secrets and Lies) is a quiet taxi driver whose marriage to Penny (Lesley Manville) has gone dry, though neither has quite realized it. They bicker with each other and their children and try to find some pleasure in going out with friends, but their friends have their own struggles--even Penny's coworker Maureen (Ruth Sheen), whose naturally buoyant personality is colliding with her resentful daughter's pregnancy. All or Nothing is among Leigh's bleakest films; the relentless misery of these characters' lives is hard to take. But thanks to the incredibly committed acting, when moments of tenderness come, they have a devastating impact. --Bret Fetzer

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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Alison Garland, Jean Ainslie
  • Directors: Mike Leigh
  • Writers: Mike Leigh
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Georgina Lowe, Pierre Edelman, Simon Channing Williams
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KK3X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,109 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "All Or Nothing (2002)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Curran on January 22, 2004
Format: DVD
'All or Nothing' is a fascinating but disturbing portrayal of the lives of struggling working class people in a London tenement. It is a very thought provoking film and may lead to reflecting on your own life and on life in general. As with Mike Leigh's other films this is not very upbeat stuff, in fact this movie is probably more of a downer than the usual from him. The superbly acted characters are real hard luck cases and their lives seem utterly hopeless, so much so that I was expecting someone commit suicide at any moment. But at the same time their story is gripping and so realistic that you feel like a voyeur looking in on them. The ending while not exactly a happy ending provides a slight glimmer of hope but in keeping with the reality of the movie is not overly optimistic. If you like Leigh's other films you will not be disappointed by this one.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. C Clark VINE VOICE on December 16, 2002
Even when making a film about astonishingly uninteresting people. The lives portrayed here are as going nowhere as lives can possibly be. Yet though bleak, it is not depressing, for it is the response to those circumstances that separate the successful from the failures. Dale Carnegie would be challenged to maintain a positive attitude in this discouraging environment, and yet Leigh once again demonstrates that life is in the control of those who choose to control whatever it is they have to control.
The story ostensibly watches the lives of Penny and Phil, moldering in a low-income housing project with individual lives that contain nothing to look forward to and nothing at all to share. Leigh uses some of his favorite actors, the brilliant Lesley Manville (who shone even in the incredibly bright Topsy-Turvy) as Penny, and the most underrated performer around today, Timothy Spall. Penny is a middle-aged mother who is trying to hold up three very heavy lives, and she is crushed by the burden. Bitter and recriminative, she cannot fathom why she has so little. Phil has allowed himself to become an observer to all life, even his own, and in the process finds he too has nothing left. Their two children are fat, lonely, uneducated, and going nowhere. If you knew what was going to happen to you during the day, you wouldn't get up, says Phil. And he doesn't. Until the epiphany that has to save him from the self-destruction rampant around him arrives, and he does indeed start to get up. Like many in the world, Phil is waiting, waiting for salvation to arrive. But only he can create it for himself. And when he does, Penny can join him, and they can look forward with a sense of togetherness.
The actors are all brilliant...Leigh seems incapable of filming a boring performance.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
*Topsy-Turvy* was apparently an aberration for director Mike Leigh, in terms of its period-setting (i.e., English theater in the time of Gilbert & Sullivan), epic scope, and freedom from sheer bleakness. Well, it's back to basics, here. Leigh's latest, *All or Nothing*, puts us right back into the dreary lower-middle-class setting of contemporary London, where we meet the type of commonplace and yet thoroughly individualized working-class characters that one finds only in Leigh's films, outside of Real Life itself. Leigh is such a master by now that he can create a fully-drawn character, such as the virtually silent and disturbed young man who stalks one of the film's other characters, without hardly a word of spoken dialogue: actions speak louder than. And it's a lucky thing, too, because these people aren't very good with words -- heck, they don't even KNOW that many words. ("F--- off!", for instance, is a sort of utilitarian phrase, loaded with several shades of meaning.) It turns out to be one of the movie's central themes: the inability to communicate, and the damage that can result. But it requires more than a master-director to get us to care about these people; it requires brilliant actors. And we get plenty of those in *All or Nothing*. Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen deserve extra praise as a pair of housewives trying to hold their respective families together. Manville is saddled with a man who, after 2 decades and 2 kids, still hasn't summoned the gumption to marry her. Her kids, as overweight as their dad, are sullen introverts with no capacity for dealing with the society around them.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2004
Format: DVD
Granted, this movie is not for all tastes. It's virtually unrelenting look at the struggling working class of Britain can be bleak and troubling. However, for those who frequent the local art house, and those who have found themselves drawn to the previous work of Mike Leigh it is a must.
Timothy Spall and Lesley Manville are a common-law couple who work as a taxi drive and a grocery store checker respectively. They are raising two teenagers, a shy, bookish daughter who works as a janitor of a nursing home and a son who does little but verbally abuse his mother while he sits in front of the TV. Plot here is not the emphasis. Slice of life is.
Bleak as this scenario sounds (and it only scratches the surface) this is a film that rewards the patient viewer as the ending does offer a healthy dose of redemption. Along the way the acting shines (typical for Leigh films) with Spall, Manville, and Ruth Sheen as the friend and neighbor dealing with a pregnant teen age daughter turning in award worthy performances.
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Mike Leigh's British films
Just watched "All or Nothing" last night, I put my subtitles on as soon as the movie started due to the heavy British accent of one of the actors.
Mar 22, 2011 by L. Dawson |  See all 2 posts
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