Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

British movies are enjoying the soap-operatic thrills of an ensemble sex life right now. Remember This Year's Love and Bedrooms And Hallways? Michael Winterbottom is taking a break from emotional epics, such as Jude and Welcome To Sarajevo, to join in. The result is patchy, beautifully acted, boring and photographed through a dishcloth.

There are too many characters doing not very much. Nadia (Gina McKee) is looking for a bloke. Elder sister, Debbie (Shirley Henderson), is living with her 11-year-old son and having all sorts of blokes. Younger sister, Molly (Molly Parker), is about to give birth.

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Brother Darren (Enzo Cilenti) ran away from home when he was old enough to see the trees from the wood and has mad-passionates in posh hotels with girlfriend, Melanie (Sarah-Jane Potts). Father (Jack Shepherd) is hen pecked by Mother (Kika Markham) who complains about most things, especially her husband and the dog next door. Dan (Ian Hart) is Debbie's ex and a tosser. Eddie (John Simm) is Molly's now and about to go AWOL. Franklyn (David Fahm) is a sensitive young black guy who can't get a girl and Tim (Stuart Townsend) is an Irish photojournalist who can't have enough girls.

The other character is London, which offers everything and delivers nothing but sadness. Life is short on good times, long on longing. What's sex got to do with it? Precious, precious little.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Ensemble drama about the lifes and loves of the working class in London.
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Director: Michael Winterbottom

Writer: Laurence Coriat

Starring: Enzo Cilenti, Shirley Henderson, Gina McKee, Molly Parker, Ian Hart, John Simm, Stuart Townsend, Kika Markham, Jack Shepherd, Sarah-Jane Potts, David Fahm

Year: 1999

Runtime: 108 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


EIFF 1999

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