Life Is Sweet

Life Is Sweet

Mike Leigh (1990)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Writer/director Mike Leigh is on top form in this superbly observed satire on late-Thatcherite Britain. The wincingly funny and socially astute script touches on such issues as bulimia, free enterprise and social ambition without ever labouring the point. Alison Steadman and Jim Broadbent are outstanding as the thoroughly decent working-class couple who watch their daughters develop with a mixture of pride and regret. Jane Horrocks does Essex slacker teen with great conviction, while Claire Skinner impresses as her tomboy sister, and Timothy Spall is sweatily repellent as a wannabe restaurateur. Naked and Secrets and Lies won the prizes, but this is perhaps Leigh's finest work.


A suburban chef makes an ill-advised attempt to launch his own fast food business, while his wife is drawn into a socially awkward friend's plans to open a bizarre restaurant. Their twin daughters lead very different lives, one optimistically dreaming of foreign travel, the other concealing an eating disorder. Mike Leigh's comedy drama, starring Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Jane Horrocks, Timothy Spall, Claire Skinner and Stephen Rea.

Cast & Crew

Wendy Alison Steadman
Andy Jim Broadbent
Nicola Jane Horrocks
Natalie Claire Skinner
Patsy Stephen Rea
Aubrey Timothy Spall
Nicola's lover David Thewlis
Paula Moya Brady
Steve David Neilson
Customer Harriet Thorpe
Chef Paul Trussel
Nigel Jack Thorpe Baker
Director Mike Leigh
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Palace PicturesGuidance: Contains swearing, sex scenes and nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama Comedy