Nuts in May (Leigh, 1976)

Alice-Marie: Keith?

Keith: Yes, Alice-Marie?

For those who haven’t come in contact, a great introduction to British filmmaker Mike Leigh’s smart, wacky sense of black comedy about an environment/health conscious city couple, Keith (Roger Sloman) and Alice-Marie (Alison Steadman), vacationing at a rural campground, coming constantly at odds with the other, “normal” dwellers. Keith and Alice-Marie have a strange, push pull relationship, a hierarchy which feels completely at ease with them as human beings (this is of course still a maddening coupling). An obvious influence on the great Christopher Guest films, Nuts in May has a distinct melancholy about it, mixing Leigh’s patented improvisational attitude with a sadness in tone. Not quite reaching the peak of his later Home Sweet Home, Nuts in May still offers countless moments of gut punching awkwardness, but more importantly Mike Leigh’s elegant look at the fragile, strange, and complicated souls of the British middle-class. He leaves us with plenty to muse over.]

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