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I forgot all about Mike Leigh today.


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One of the great gifts to moviemaking, Mike Leigh, was featured earlier today with a double feature of his movies, Life is Sweet (1990) and High Hopes (1988).  I like to give a heads up for him, but overlooked it.  Life is Sweet has been on before, but High Hopes is new.  So little by little, we're seeing more of his work.  I'd like to see a retrospective of him, sometime.  His stories focus on the unexceptional, with plots that revolve around the common run of things.  His characters seem overdrawn at first, excessive in their vein, high-strung, or preoccupied, or befuddled.  They usually have some hole in their psyche, or some desperate need they seek to fulfill from their relations or loved ones.  Lacking that, they are driven deeper into idiosyncrasies.  The movie usually moves toward some crisis, or catharsis which resolves some or all of the issues.  The last scene is of tranquility with featured characters enjoying simple pleasures at rest.  That is when you realize with a start how you have been drawn into their lives and how much it matters to you what happens to them.

Look for them on TCM on Demand, or the Watch TCM app, if you got 'em.  Or,--well, no, I won't suggest you pay to see them, not wishing to violate a basic tenant of TCM viewers.

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