Mike Leigh has a real talent for getting great performances out of his actors. All of the characters in this story are truly pathetic and ordinary. Everyone knows these people, they are the relatives we only see at holidays, the co-workers we avoid, and even the people we see in the mirror on our worst days. Special kudos to Brenda Blethyn who has created possibly the most annoying and pitiful creature ever committed to film with the character of Gloria. You can't help but feel sorry for her while detesting her at the same time. It's very similar to her role in "Secrets and Lies" in a way only more extreme.
BBC2 Playhouse Grown-Ups
BBC2 Playhouse Grown-Ups
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Dick and Mandy, a young working class couple, move into a council house in Canterbury, and find Mr. Butcher, one of their former teachers, living next door. Mandy's unmarried sister, Gloria, is constantly dropping in, and will not take any hints that the couple would prefer to be left alone, until her presence finally goads them to action.—Will Gilbert
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A fantastic study in (annoying) human character
if you are a mike leigh fan then this one really is a must.
it is undoubtedly dated and technically crude - it was filmed in 1980 for TV - but in a way this adds to the sense of period.
the acting is superb - both hilarious and moving in the same way that secrets and lies was. in many ways this piece is in fact the precursor to that movie. the character brenda blethyn plays is an obvious relation to the one in secrets and lies and just as touching and funny. she is the lynch-pin here and the instigator of the more farcical elements. yet the other cast members are just as good and provide the background and emotional depth to the piece.
a lot of leigh's early TV work has dimmed with the passing of time, but this is a key work which ranks amongst his best. it marks the transition from a more experimental style to the more confident approach he showed in the cinema thereafter.
i had been wanting to see grown-ups since its first transmission, as i had fond memories of it. when i finally did recently i was not disappointed. it is his most under-rated work and i think one of the crown jewels. i hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
These people were more than actors
When first I saw this incredible film/play I knew none of the actors in it. They totally convinced me of the story and situation-it was like peeping into someone elses life. How much Mike Leigh has to do with it or what is the actors' contribution it is hard to say. However it is a masterpiece of observation. Brenda Blethyn is wonderful ,ably supported by the rest of the cast, all of whom I have seen turn in stellar performances in varied roles in other films and TV productions. If you have never seen it then hunt it down. You will not regret the time spent. It makes one sneer,laugh,cry,think and wonder at the reality of the performances and situation portrayed by this great company.