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High Hopes (1988 film)

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Genre  Comedy, Drama
Screenplay  Mike Leigh
Writer  Mike Leigh
Language  English
7.6/10 IMDb

Director  Mike Leigh
Music director  Andrew Dickson
Country  United Kingdom
High Hopes (1988 film) movie poster

Release date  24 September 1988
Cast  Philip Davis (Cyril Bender), Ruth Sheen (Shirley), Edna Doré (Mrs. Bender), Philip Jackson (Martin Burke), Lesley Manville (Laetitia Boothe-Brain), David Bamber (Rupert Boothe-Braine)
Similar movies  The Last Witch Hunter, Fish Tank, Factory Girl, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, At the Edge of the Abyss, Jupiter Ascending

High hopes mike leigh 1988

High Hopes is a 1988 film directed by Mike Leigh, focusing on an extended working-class family living in King's Cross, London and elsewhere.


High Hopes (1988 film) movie scenes

The film primarily examines Cyril (Philip Davis) and Shirley (Ruth Sheen), a motor-cycle courier and his girlfriend, along with their friends, neighbours, and Cyril's mother and sister.

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Despite staying true to Leigh's down-at-the-heel, realist style, the film is ultimately a social comedy concerning culture clashes between different classes and belief systems. According to the critic Michael Coveney', "As in Meantime, High Hopes contrasts the economic and spiritual conditions of siblings. And in developing some of the themes in Babies Grow Old and Grown-Ups, it presents a brilliantly organised dramatic résumé of attitudes towards parturition and old age."

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Cyril is a strong, old-style socialist, who despairs of his elderly working-class but Tory-voting mum; her new yuppie neighbours, the Boothe-Braines (who have purchased what was once a Council house next door); and his social-climbing sister and her crass, car-salesman husband. Cyril and Shirley are portrayed as the most decent characters in the film, despite Cyril's irascible nature. Theirs is a strong relationship, marred by Cyril's reluctance to have children and his resentment that his cause is destined to be on the losing side in history.


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  • Phil Davis as Cyril
  • Ruth Sheen as Shirley
  • Edna Doré as Mrs Bender
  • Philip Jackson as Martin
  • Heather Tobias as Valerie
  • Lesley Manville as Lætitia
  • David Bamber as Rupert
  • Jason Watkins as Wayne
  • Judith Scott as Suzi
  • Awards and nominations

  • European Film Awards
  • Won: Best Actress – Leading Role (Ruth Sheen)
  • Won: Best Composer (Andrew Dickson)
  • Won: Best Supporting Performance (Edna Doré)
  • Nominated: Best Film
  • Independent Spirit Awards (USA)
  • Nominated: Best Foreign Film
  • Venice Film Festival (Italy)
  • Won: FIPRESCI Prize (Mike Leigh)

  • High Hopes (1988 film) High Hopes movie posters at movie poster warehouse moviepostercom

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