(directors/writer: Mike Leigh; cinematographer: Roger Pratt; editor: Lesley Walker; music: Andrew Dickson; cast: Tim Roth (Colin), Phil Daniels(Mark), Jeff Robert (Frank), Alfred Molina (John), Pam Ferris (Mavis), Gary Oldman (Coxy), Marion Bailey (Barbara), Tilly Vosburgh (Hayley); Runtime: 194; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Graham Benson; Channel 4 British Television; 1983-UK)

A powerful but bleak TV movie kitchen-sink drama.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A powerful but bleak TV movie kitchen-sink drama helmed and devised by British filmmaker Mike Leigh (“Topsy-Turvy”/”Life is Sweet”/”Mr. Turner”). Pictures life as a downer in London for those on the dole. Tells the hardship story of two unemployed siblings, living in an East End council flat in London with their unemployed and on the dole parents, in Thatcher’s Great Britain. Pam Ferris and Jeff Robert are the parents of the gentle but socially awkward character played by Tim Roth and his idler older brother played by Phil Daniels. Gary Oldman plays a skinhead. Marion Bailey is the boys’ superficially optimistic aunt. Tilly Vosburgh plays the troubled local girl. Nothing much happens, as family tensions build and living on the dole is keenly observed in a realistic way.