I've got to say that Career Girls is my favourite Mike Leigh film. There's a positive feel to the production lacking in other work which features two young women, played by Lynda Steadman and Katrin Cartlidge who study at Polytechnic only to meet years later on. A magical set of events ensue when they renew old friendships over a weekend in a departure from the Director's usual naturalistic style. For anyone who's studied away from home this will bring back poignent memories. Tears, tantrums and the sheer individualism of young people are ably captured here by Mike Leigh. Hannah is a predictable femminist student, but my favourite character is Annie, incredibly shy, suffering from a skin complaint and often the butt of cruel jibes from her flatmate. When they re-unite alot of the insecurity has gone, yet neither have really moved on....... Both are still single with boring job, yet the beauty of the piece is the vivid depiction of ordinary students. It describes their lives through their loves, lies and heartbreaks, though there is a more sophisticated message here that coming from an ordinary background usually ensures an ordinary future. There is inherent criticism too of the characters failing to break out of their mundane lives and this is Leigh at his incisive best; not moralising or sentimentalising but being ruthlessly honest with his subjects and admitting that they can change their own lives. Wheras past projects are often flawed, Career Girls is a whole work of considered observation. It's characters more affluent and in control than in Bleak Moments and Nuts in May for instancen, but not as demanding as alot of the Leigh portfolio. Career Girls is a warm and genuinely comedic 83 minutes of viewing and I would strongly reccomend anyone out there to buy it, for no other reason than to sample Katrin Cartlidge's outstanding interpretation of a shy and stuttering eighties student.