Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville
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Following 1999's Oscar-nominated period piece TOPSY-TURVY, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh returns to the familiar terrain of modern, working-class London with ALL OR NOTHING. Yet another bittersweet slice-of-life drama conceived in Leigh's now legendary improvisational style, ALL OR NOTHING follows a group of dysfunctional families living in a London housing project who seem to have lost any glimmer of optimism and hope. Phil Bassett (Timothy Spall) works as a cab driver, while his wife Penny (Lesley Manville) holds a job as a clerk in a Safeway. Their two kids, Rachel (Alison Garland) and Rory (James Corden), are overweight and friendless. Nearby, Ron (Paul Jesson) and Carol (Marion Bailey) drink themselves into oblivion every night, while their sex-charged daughter Samantha (Sally Hawkins) attempts to conquer every boy on the block. Next door to them, Penny's coworker Maureen (Ruth Sheen) watches over her daughter, Donna (Helen Coker), who has been impregnated by her bitter, abusive boyfriend. In typical Leigh fashion, each character trudges through the muck of everyday existence, until a minor revelation sparks an understanding that brings hope to their sour lives. Featuring impeccably realized performances by the ensemble cast--most notably Spall and Manville--Leigh's film pays tribute to the exasperating institution of family.