One weekend in the lives of three working-class sisters from London.

A devastating change of pace from one of Britain's most interesting filmmakers.

Nadia (Gina McKee) is a waitress who can't find a man, she connects disappointingly through personal ads. Her sister Debbie (Shirley Henderson) is the single mother of Jack (Peter Marfleet) who, this particular weekend is spending time with his irresponsible father Dan (Ian Hart). The third sister is Molly (Molly Parker) who's very pregnant and who quarrels with her husband Eddie after he quits his job so that he leaves her. Add to this mix lonely Franklyn (David Fahm) and the devastatingly unhappy parents – Kika Markham and Jack Shepherd – it's a pretty bleak scenario.

For all its bleakness, for all its soap opera elements, there is a deep fascination with this wonderland created by Winterbottom and screenwriter Laurence Cordiat. The immediacy of the film's visual style, the compassion that emerges for these small human beings caught in the everyday anguish of hanging in there make this another major achievement for a fine filmmaker.

The performances which demand naturalism are extraordinarily convincing with Gina McKee bringing a matter-of-factness to Nadia that`s just beautiful. Shirley Henderson and Molly Parker are also devastating.

People who work with Winterbottom say he's more interested in the look of the film than in the performances – if that's the case then he's got a great eye for talent.