2008-10-21 - 12:55 p.m.
I first saw Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet about 17 years ago, and it immediately became an important film for me.
I was enthralled with the Nicola character because at the time I'd never seen her particular angst onscreen before: rage at her parents, at men, confusion about her place in the world. The anger and vulnerability of a lost late-bloomer both dependent on and resentful of her family so closely mirrored my situation and perception of myself. To see it presented so accurately and nakedly felt like a personal validation, at a time when validation was in short supply.
True, it's a comic film, but the characters are afforded some amount of dignity despite their failings, and Leigh's affection for them is very plain.
While I don't know that the film would have had the same impact if I'd seen it for the first time today, it felt great to revisit it at the Mike Leigh retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image this past weekend, and I got even more out of it.
This time around the parents seemed less comic, more relatable and admirable, and I daresay that I found Jim Broadbent strangely attractive.
Aside from all that, I also enjoyed the simple pleasure of seeing the film at Scandinavia House, in the always-mysterious Murray Hill section of town. The Scandinavians really do movie theaters right:
Nice artwork all around...
...comfortable but not cushy blonde furniture...
....the flags of the Nordic empire...
thoughts? (3 comments so far)
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