The Hudson Union www.hudsonunionsociety.com is where everyone comes to be inspired, to change our world. Check us out on Twitter @ActualJoePascal One of contemporary Britain and Worlds most renowned directors, Mike Leigh is known for his depictions of the dramas inherent in the everyday lives of regular people. He is known to focus on "slice-of-life" realism. Leigh is noted for his film style—in which the commonplace is often tinged with the extraordinary—has been dubbed "social surrealism", or as he prefers to call it, "heightened realism". Leigh makes films remarkable for their level-headed, unsensational portrayals of topics. Leigh's true international breakthrough came in 1993 with Naked. A disturbing, relentlessly bleak account of the misanthropic wanderings of a philosophy-spewing drifter, the film earned both raves from critics and rants from various feminist groups, who found it to be deeply misogynistic (a charge that Leigh would angrily refute) due to the violence carried out against some of its female characters. Naked was rewarded lavishly at the Cannes Festival, and Leigh was honored with the festival's Best Director prize. Even more acclaimed was Leigh's subsequent film, Secrets & Lies. A family drama, it revolved around the relationship between a young woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and her biological mother Brenda Blethyn who gave her up for adoption at birth, and the complications that ensue when the mother's family learn of their reunion. For their excellent, largely improvised performances, Blethyn and Jean-Baptiste were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscars, respectively, and Blethyn received a Best Actress Golden Globe. Blethyn also won the Best Actress prize at Cannes, where the film won the Palme d'Or. In 2004, Leigh directed what has been considered his best film to date, Vera Drake, a post-World War II drama about a cheerful and dedicated wife and mother who performs backdoor abortions for women in need. Leigh earned nominations for Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Sally Hawkins stars in Leighs Happy-Go-Lucky as the unforgettable Poppy, an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters as a single woman in London. Poppys story takes alternately hilarious and serious turns - careening from flamenco classes to the first dates - becoming a touching, truthful and deeply life-affirming exploration of one of the most mysterious and often the most elusive of all human qualities: happiness.
Masterclass with Mike Leigh at RIFF 2014.
British director Mike Leigh was surprisingly candid and abrupt when Gold Derby guru Tom O'Neil asked him what he thought of various film awards.
Mike Leigh (NAKED, ANOTHER YEAR) stopped by the Criterion Collection production office and DVD closet!