Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mike Leigh$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tony Whitehead

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072369

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072369.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use (for details see www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 14 November 2018

Introduction: ‘You’ve gotta laugh’

Introduction: ‘You’ve gotta laugh’

(p.1) Introduction: ‘You’ve gotta laugh’
Mike Leigh

Tony Whitehead

Manchester University Press

This chapter opens with a general discussion on Mike Leigh, who is considered to be Britain's greatest film director and who has carved a unique niche in the film making industry. Among his recent films, Vera Drake was released thirty-four years since his debut feature. Since his return to the cinema, he has consistently written and directed a film every two or three years, with occasional returns to the theatre, the medium in which he began his career. He was not, therefore, an obscure talent who has been waiting to be discovered. Even now more awards have come his way from abroad than at home and much of the critical response to his work in the UK has been ambivalent. The ‘breakthrough’ of Vera Drake was certainly preceded by a turning point in his reputation—and his success at the box office—with the release of Secrets and Lies in 1996, but even that came a quarter of century after Bleak Moments. He worked painstakingly with his actors to create fully rounded characters whose lives and personalities are too complex to be shoehorned into the tidy conventions of realistic drama derived from the theatrical concepts of the well-made play.

Keywords:   Mike Leigh, film director, Vera Drake, realistic drama, Secrets and Lies

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.