The first film from the much accomplished director Mike Leigh and yet as good as any. I do have my favourites but Bleak Moments is a fantastically formed début feature.
Centred around Sylvia, stuck in a suburb of South London in the early 1970s grey tedium working as a secretary. Sylvia’s main interactions come from her uptight similarly aged colleague, her bizarre but friendly and socially awkward guitarist neighbour, a loving but challenging relationship with her disabled sister – Hilda, and Sylvia’s judging teacher “boyfriend”.
All in all, the film despite being a series of Bleak Moments is an enjoyable and well constructed piece.
It is very effective in capturing the kidnapped feeling of an isolated big fish in a small provincial town and I have a feeling if this film was done by anyone other than Leigh then many of the characters would be very easy to dislike or resent. Although, however much you disagree with the characters’ actions you do understand they have done what they have done because they are who they are.