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All Or Nothing [DVD] [2002]

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Alison Garland, Jean Ainslie
  • Directors: Mike Leigh
  • Writers: Mike Leigh
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Georgina Lowe, Pierre Edelman, Simon Channing Williams
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Arabic, English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 28 April 2003
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OP6R
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,519 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Mike Leigh returns to gritty drama after his last big-screen outing with 'Topsy Turvy' in 1999. Penny (Lesley Manville) lives with her long-term partner, taxi-driver Phil (Timothy Spall), and works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel (Alison Garland) cleans in a home for elderly people, and their son Rory (James Corden) is unemployed and aggressive. The joy has gone out of Phil and Penny's life, but when Rory becomes ill and has to be rushed to hospital, they begin to rediscover their love.

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A 2002 Mike Leigh drama, All or Nothing is at times almost unbearably bleak and poignant, yet funny, truthful and richly rewarding. The film's revolves around Timothy Spall's mini-cab driver, his family and the various characters and acquaintances on the South-east London estate where he lives. It's perhaps even better than Secrets and Lies, in which Spall also starred, which was marred a little by some of the tearful excesses of Brenda Blethyn's bravura performance. It's evidence that Leigh has matured and improved with age, rather than mellowed and softened. He's developed into a highly distinctive but rounded and humane filmmaker.

Spall's cabbie is too gentle and thoughtful to be described as a slob, but his lack of even the most basic ambition and stoic non-resistance to life has created an unspoken rift between him and wife Penny (Lesley Manville). Working on a supermarket checkout, she must cook dinner and fend off insults from her fat, frustrated, obnoxious 18-year-old son Rory. She receives only passive sympathy from her older daughter Rachel. Only when Rory is taken ill is Phil snapped out of his torpor as the family pull together.

A host of minor characters also feature; fatuous cabbie Ron (Paul Jesson) his alcoholic wife and sluttish daughter, as well as the wonderfully good-humoured and resilient Maureen, Penny's best friend, concerned at her daughter's relationship with a violent boyfriend. Once accused of caricaturing his "lower class" characters, here Leigh (with the collaborative assistance of his actors) exhibits them in all their authentic complexity, neither idealising nor sentimentalising them.

On the DVD: All or Nothing's extras include the original trailer, as well as interviews with several members of the cast. Timothy Spall is interesting on the unnerving process of collaboration favoured by Leigh, whereby characters are "built from zero" by the actors. The smart and rather posh Lesley Manville strikes quite a contrast in real life with her mousey, put-upon character. There's also a meticulous and absorbing commentary from Mike Leigh, who talks about filming in Greenwich and how he has moved away from some of the more dogmatic ideas about filmmaking of his earlier, avant-garde days. --David Stubbs

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Mike Leigh's 'All or Nothing' is a film all about emotions, and how deeply emotional ties within families can run just inches below the surface of everyday life. This is a study of real life, with no frills, and no need for a sensational story or events. Indeed, as such, it is a touch on the heavy-going side, and at times it is pretty depressing stuff... but that is because of the range of emotions that the film explores... loneliness (even within marraige), desperation and hopelessness, the humilation of having to scrape a living and have nothing left at the end of the month, and the sadness of watching love fade. On a par with some of Ken Loach's work, this movie could have been called any number of things, ('Life Is Hard' perhaps??), but is called 'All or Nothing' simply because that is how Phil feels about his faded relationship with his wife. Struggling through life day-to-day, he finally realises that it is the fact that his wife no longer loves him that is the cause of his 'thousand-yard stare', and that he finds the thought of life without her love unbearable. The depth and power of his emotions when he finally confronts his wife about whether she loves him anymore is conveyed perfectly by the two principal actors. Their embrace near the end of the film is one of true passion, and is a hugely emotional and perfectly played scene.
This is not Saturday night at the movies stuff, but what do you expect from Mike Leigh? Instead, this is a brilliant and moving character study, with absolutely first class acting throughout, especially from the two lead characters played by Timothy Spall and Lesley Manville. The look (and sound) of the film is fittingly sober, plain and sensitive.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2012
Format: DVD
Mike Leigh's 2002 film All Or Nothing is another extraordinary film from this master film-maker, portraying as it does a relatively short episode in the lives of a number of working class (largely dysfunctional) families living on a run-down (high-rise) housing estate (shot in a disused estate in Greenwich, in fact). Leigh's film is extraordinary in the context of modern cinema fare (though not, of course, in relation to his own work) because it focuses its story on the lives of real people having to deal with real-life problems. Indeed, not only do Leigh's characters mirror real life, but (largely due to his trademark method of film-making whereby his actors spend extended periods actually living their characters' back-stories) the acting performances in All Or Nothing are totally authentic and convincing.

All Or Nothing focuses on the story of unmarried couple Phil and Penny Bassett, he a reserved (and frequently philosophical) mini-cab driver, and she a shy mother of two, who works on the tills at the supermarket. Leigh has cast two of his most gifted (and frequent) collaborators in these central roles, Timothy Spall and Lesley Manville, and they deliver two of their best ever performances in this film (for me, Manville has only ever been better in Leigh's Topsy-Turvy). Phil and Penny are two of life's 'good guys', well-meaning, kind and considerate, but also struggling to survive both economically (as Phil digs behind the sofa in search of lost coins with which to settle his debts) and emotionally - and the drudgery of everyday life has taken its toll on their love for one another.
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Format: DVD
I am a big fan of Mike Leigh films. All or Nothing really makes you think there is always someone else worse off. It is based on a depressing council estate with some wonderful true to life characters. The acting is superb and having seen the special features I have even more admiration as they didn't work off a script - it was improvised!

Although I wouldn't rate it as high as Mike Keigh's previous film 'Secret & Lies, it is still one to watch.
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 30 May 2012
Format: DVD
I'm not normally especially keen on Mike Leigh films, but this one is the best, for me, and I'm convinced it is a masterpiece. The empathy for the characters is unambiguous, particularly the married couple at the heart of it. Timothy Spall has been an anchor in other Leigh films, but here he gives the performance of a lifetime, making us feel the depth of sadness and disillusion of this taxi-driver who has really run out of hope and self-respect. He gets such humanity into the character, so that the events lead to a confrontation between the couple of almost unbearable emotion. Yet it is not as bleak as many of his films, for all the sombreness that characterises much of its running time. I think it is this upward turn that makes it easier to watch than something like Naked, excellent though that film is too. This film shows the flame of human goodness to burn as brightly in this ordinary man as it could in anyone, yet it is the kind of goodness that often passes unnoticed, indeed it does here by most of his family members for most of the film. The daughter is also very touching - just the sight of her walking alone by the river conjures such compassion in the viewer thanks to the subtle way Leigh reveals character and inserts an ordinary but telling moment like this with such a sure sense of timing.
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