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High Hopes (Mike Leigh, UK, 1988)

An alive and challenging film, one that throws our own assumptions and evasions back at us. We start by laughing at the others, and end by feeling uncomfortable about ourselves.
— Roger Ebert

Mike Leigh’s comedy drama was filmed around King’s Cross and most memorably in Highgate Cemetery. The story follows left-wing bike messenger Cyril Bender (Philip Davis), his girlfriend Shirley (Ruth Sheen) and Cyril's conservative mother (Edna Dore), who lives in the last council house on her street next to the appallingly upper class Boothe-Braines (Lesley Manville and David Bamber). Cyril's consumerist sister Valerie (Heather Tobias) and her car salesman husband Martin (Philip Jackson) join the family to throw a surprise 70th birthday party for Mrs. Bender but, despite their best intentions, the event descends into disaster.