High Hopes Image

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and Cyril's pretentious sister and philandering husband. Shirley wants a baby, but Cyril, who reads Marx and wants the world to be perfect, is reluctant. Cyril's mum locks herself out and must ask her snooty neighbors for help. Then Cyril's sister Valerie stages a surprise party for mum's 70th birthday, a disaster from start to finish. Shirley holds things together, and she and Cyril may put aside her Dutch cap after all. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    Jun 3, 2013
    Leigh has fashioned a limber style of political commentary that is part documentary, part cartoon and wholly novel in the movies.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 3, 2013
    High Hopes is an alive and challenging film, one that throws our own assumptions and evasions back at us. Leigh sees his characters and their lifestyles so vividly, so mercilessly and with such a sharp satirical edge, that the movie achieves a neat trick: We start by laughing at the others, and end by feeling uncomfortable about ourselves.
  3. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Jun 3, 2013
    It's this balance of vivid performance and directorial detachment that allows Leigh to move freely between delicate sentiment and highly caustic wit; even in his most harshly satirical moments, he never denies the humanity of his characters.
  4. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Jun 3, 2013
    High Hopes manages to be enjoyably whimsical without ever losing its cutting edge.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Jun 3, 2013
    Despite its bleak locations, High Hopes is in fact very funny, with wonderful observations on life in the capital...and believable, touching performances all round.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    Jun 3, 2013
    The actors, many of whom are part of a loose Mike Leigh stock company, are miraculously deft at erasing that line between performing and being.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Jun 3, 2013
    Leigh builds a slight story intended to be a microcosm of today’s London.

See all 12 Critic Reviews