Set in and around King's Cross, the City, and London's suburbs, in the early weeks of 1988, HIGH HOPES examines the contrasting lives and personalities of an assortment of characters: Cyril, a despatch rider, and his girlfriend Shirley; Cyril's sister, Valerie, and her husband Martin; Cyril and Valerie's widowed mother, Mrs Bender; and Mrs Bender's upwardly-mobile next door neighbours, Laetitia and Rupert. Their various paths cross first when Mrs Bender finds herself locked out of her house and then again, several weeks later, when Valerie arranges a surprise party for Mrs Bender's seventieth birthday. By turns sad and comic, HIGH HOPES ends on a note of quiet optimism.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Mike Leigh

Written by: Mike Leigh

Produced by: Victor Clynn, Simon Channing-Williams

Original Score: Andrew Dickson

Main Cast: Philip Davies (Cyril), Edna Doré (Mrs Bender), David Bamber (Rupert), Ruth Sheen (Shirley), Philip Jackson (Martin)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 1989
  • European Composer 1989
  • European Supporting Performance of the Year 1989
  • European Film 1989