Bryan Irvine’s review published on Letterboxd:
After a brief chat about "Naked" a few days ago, I decided to take the plunge and rewatch this one.
The reason it felt like a massive decision, despite my familiarity with it, is that this film often takes a great deal from me, psychologically and emotionally. I think it's Mike Leigh's best film (tied with Secrets & Lies) - but it's a genuinely tough watch. However, if I have enough to pay for this journey, it's rich with rewards - not just David Thewlis' astonishing performance (Lesley Sharp and Katrin Cartlidge are also wonderful) but it's excellent script and Andrew Dickson's music (consisting of only violas, cellos and a harp) hugely contribute to make this look at those lost, lonely, overlooked and often tragic souls that exist in every city, quite remarkable, fascinating, compelling and heartbreaking.
It also has a great deal to say about abuse - emotional, sexual, physical, psychological and neglectful - hence the heavy price it often asks of its viewers.
An unrelentingly aggressive, bleak but sensational film.