Mike Leigh

Vera Drake, 2004

The opening sequence of the film shows the titular heroine (in an exquisitely complex performance by Imelda Staunton), a cheerful and diligent middle-aged woman working as a maid for several affluent homes in postwar London, visiting an invalid man at a tenement complex in order to help with household chores, reposition his feet onto his… read more »

Secrets and Lies, 1996

Secrets and Lies is a funny, compelling, and affectionate story of family and reconciliation. At the heart of the film is the profoundly simple idea: that human suffering is universal, and that the only comfort lies in our ability to share the pain with those we love. The story opens with Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), a… read more »

Naked, 1993

Naked is a harrowing portrait of self-destruction and victimization. It is the story of a drifter named Johnny (David Thewlis) who, fleeing from certain retaliation over a violent tryst, runs away from Manchester to find his ex-girlfriend, Louise (Lynda Steadman). Instead, he meets her roommate, Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge), an attractive, spaced-out, and unemployed woman, and… read more »