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Bleak Moments

Posted on

Bleak Moments

Current Status:
In Season
Eric Allan, Anne Raitt

We gave it a C+

Bleak Moments is a cheery title, eh? Nor is it intended ironically β€” there’s hardly a moment in Mike Leigh’s first feature that doesn’t qualify as bleak. Hints of Leigh’s nascent genius are evident in this grim tale of a shy secretary’s disastrous first date with an equally aloof schoolteacher; but while his consistently stunning recent work (Secrets & Lies, the current Career Girls) is notable for its lively misfits and emotional candor, the characters here are so terminally repressed that they can scarcely breathe, let alone speak. (Cut the pregnant pauses and you’d have a 30-minute short.) A must for Leigh fans and completists; others beware. C+