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All Or Nothing [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Alison Garland, James Corden, Ruth Sheen
  • Directors: Mike Leigh
  • Producers: Simon Channing-Williams, Alain Sarde
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jan 2008
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y5X602
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,644 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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.


Writer-director Mike Leigh, after a brief detour into the period drama of Topsy-Turvy, returns to the lives of contemporary working-class Brits. Phil (longtime Leigh collaborator Timothy Spall, Secrets and Lies) is a quiet taxi driver whose marriage to Penny (Lesley Manville) has gone dry, though neither has quite realized it. They bicker with each other and their children and try to find some pleasure in going out with friends, but their friends have their own struggles--even Penny's coworker Maureen (Ruth Sheen), whose naturally buoyant personality is colliding with her resentful daughter's pregnancy. All or Nothing is among Leigh's bleakest films; the relentless misery of these characters' lives is hard to take. But thanks to the incredibly committed acting, when moments of tenderness come, they have a devastating impact. --Bret Fetzer,

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 7 July 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 1000 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on 4 Feb 2007
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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By hermie wicked on 11 July 2009
Format: DVD
Life is Sweet, Secrets & Lies, Naked - I mention these particular films of Leigh because they are all brilliantly contemporary in their own way -films with real heart, guts and soul. But All Or Nothing doesn't rank among these - it doesn't even come close.

There is no or little plot and maybe that's the point - just an impressonistic view of lonely and desperate lives. But what I felt this mostly suffered from a lack of real characters. Instead the film presented one-dimensional - and frankly annoying types. Lesley Manville (a great actress) was mostly winsome and whiny and Timothy Spall (like Manville, generally always excellent) was detached and eternally self-pitying. And the younger characters - except heart-of-gold cleaner Rachel, a performance of great subtlety by Alison Garland - were even worse, angry teenage stereotypes. And all deliver cliched stilted dialogue, the worst I've heard in a Mike Leigh film. This is a shame because the big emotional climax - that Mike Leigh stalwart - doesn't pack the punch it should. Most of all, All Or Nothing lacks purpose - and because of this, it almost feels like a Mike Leigh film by numbers. Watching this, I felt distanced - none of it felt realistic and all the swearing (that is supposed to represent "real dialogue"), anger and shouting made little difference. Bleak? Tedious, more like.

Watch Nil By Mouth to see how London working class depseration should be done, a film that feels like it really has something to say. Strong characters, brilliant performances, kick in the gut scenes and in the end genuine heart.
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