Mini cab driver Phil Bassett (Timothy Spall) and his de facto, Penny (Lesley Manville), live in working class misery with two troublesome children (Alison Garland, James Corden) in an oppressive suburban London housing estate. Incidents and accidents in the daily routine of life pile up and exaggerate the complexities and difficulties of their relationships with each other, with the kids and with their neighbours and co-workers. Phil finds it all almost unbearable and drives off in search of "¦ he doesn’t know. But the universe won’t answer his silent pleas for help.
 

3.5
Penny\'s love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry.

Mike Leigh, like Ken Loach, is a British director who likes to focus on people disadvantaged by society. Neighbours in a working class housing estate eature in his latest All or Nothing. Penny, Lesley Manville, works at the checkout of the local supermarket with next door neighbour Maureen, Ruth Sheen. Penny? s husband Phil, Timothy Spall, is a cab driver whose lank hair and hangdog expression indicate his depression. ? The tide comes in the tide goes out? he says to fellow cab driver and neighbour Ron, Paul Jesson, who?s married to alcoholic Carol, Marion Bailey. The children of these battlers all have contempt for their parents. Rory, James Corden, Penny and Phil?s son is especially troublesome, he?s unemployed, he?s overweight and he?s rude to his mother. Phil just mutters ?Take no notice?. Their silent, withdrawn daughter Rachel, Alison Garland, cleans at an old person?s home. For an hour and a half Leigh subjects us to these joyless lives. And then Leigh creates a crisis that provokes a scene that?s truly arresting. It?s heartfelt and beautifully performed by both Spall and Manville. And it causes you to reassess what you?ve seen. It?s a film about the importance of respect within the family unit and it?s about the value of love. Leigh has occasionally been accused of caricature and he does push Phil to edge of hangdog and Penny?s walk is insistently and irritatingly defeatist. I did wish that Leigh had used his powerful scene as a springboard rather than as a resolution, it almost comes too late and somehow only serves to make the ending seem rather facile. But the fact that it?s there at all is All or Nothing? s saving grace. Comments by David StrattonMike Leigh is a specialist at depicting the sorrows of the working class, his films are far more theatrical than Ken Loach\'s, and he often indulges in overlength and caricature. This is one of his better efforts, thanks to fine performances by Timothy Spall as the tired, inadequate Phil and Lesley Manville as the equally tired and disappointed Penny. But the film\'s much too long, and over-statement rears its ugly head in characters like the alcoholic Carol, Marion Bailey, and the French taxi passenger, Kathryn Hunter. These are simply embarrassing, and detract from the film\'s other qualities.