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High Hopes 15 rating

Mike Leigh’s bittersweet comedy tells the story of Cyril (Philip Davis), an idealist who despairs at the societal changes of Thatcher’s Britain.

Drama 1989 112 mins

Director: Mike Leigh


Mike Leigh’s bittersweet comedy is both one of the writer-director’s key works and also an illuminating time-capsule of 1980s Britain. Cyril (Philip Davis) is an idealistic, old-school socialist who despairs at the changing and divided London he sees as a product of Thatcher’s Britain, manifested in the form of his newly monied neighbours who’ve bought up the old council house next door.

His partner Shirley (Ruth Sheen), though, just wants him to stop worrying about the world and start a family.