Director: Mike Leigh

Information about the director.

Works

Film:Secrets & Lies

Secrets & Lies

Mike Leigh

If a film fan had never heard of director Mike Leigh, one might explain him as a British Woody Allen. Not that Leigh’s films are whimsical or neurotic; they are tough-love examinations of British life—funny, outlandish, and biting. His films share a real immediacy with Allen’s work: they feel as if they are happening now. Leigh works with actors—real actors—on ideas and language. There is no script at the start (and sometimes not at the end). Secrets and Lies involves Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), an elegant black woman wanting to learn her birth…

Film:Happy-Go-Lucky

Happy-Go-Lucky

Mike Leigh

Just how hard is it to be happy? In the effervescent new comedy from writer/director Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies), Sally Hawkins stars as Poppy, an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters, offering us a touching, truthful and deeply life-affirming exploration of one of the most mysterious and often the most elusive of all human qualities: happiness.

Poppy’s ability to maintain her perspective is tested as the story begins and her commuter bike is stolen. However, she enthusiastically signs up for driving lessons with Scott (Eddie Marsan), who turns out to be her nemesis—a fuming, uptight cynic. As the tension of their weekly lessons builds, Poppy encounters even more challenges to her positive state of mind: a fiery flamenco instructor, her bitter pregnant sister, a troubled homeless man and a young bully in her class, not to mention that she has also thrown out her back. How this affects not only Poppy’s world view but also the outlook of those around her begs the question “glass half full or half empty”?

Film:Vera Drake

Vera Drake

Mike Leigh

The brilliant writer-director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Secrets and Lies, Naked) has crafted an utterly compelling movie about one of the most controversial of topics. An irrepressibly hopeful housecleaner in 1950s London named Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton, Antonia and Jane, Shakespeare in Love) mothers everyone around her, from her own family to helpless shut-ins and lonely men living in tiny, isolated apartments. None of these people know that Vera also helps young women get rid of unwanted pregnancies, until the police appear…

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