Warts and all

Getting everything out into the open can be an ugly experience, and hopefully also a transcendent one. Mike Leigh's approach of having the actors improvise dialog works very well in this story, and it is eminently watchable, like being voyeurs on this strange English family, that's how real it feels. There is a downside to the approach, in that it was difficult for me to piece together the relationships for a while - perhaps that had something to do with my American ear, or my preconceptions of the film, but still, a well written script can head off those problems pretty easily. This film is not for the impatient either, as it centers more on character than plot.
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