Wednesday January 22, 2020

Leigh fluffs his big historical moment

There’s something dusty and clumsy about Mike Leigh's Peterloo that saps the film of its zeal and urgency; a fogginess that settles early and never lifts.

4th November, 2018
Neil Bell, John-Paul Hurley, Philip Jackson, Rory Kinnear, and Tom Gill in Peterloo (2018)

Mike Leigh’s four-decade career chronicling the lives of the British working class brings him all the way back to the Peterloo Massacre, an infamous cavalry charge by heavily-armed soldiers against pro-democracy protesters, often cited as the origins of the human rights movement, that took place in Leigh’s home city of Manchester in 1819. Fifteen people were killed in the bloody assault with many hundreds more injured, among them women and children. In staging such a...

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