Film: A Way of Life 15 rating Year: 2004
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Country: UK Genre: Drama
Director: Amma Asante
Starring: Brenda Blethyn, Stephanie James, Nathan Jones, Sara Gregory

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A Way of Life Synopsis - A Way of Life is set in Wales and centres around teenage mother Leigh-Anne, her brother Gavin and their two friends Robbie and Stephen. Leigh-Anne has suffered a very difficult childhood and now as she progresses through her teenage years, her life is equally as hard. With a little baby to support and not enough money to be able to feed the baby, herself and keep the council flat running, her frustrations with the life she has been handed start to gnaw away at her. Her brother and her friends also each have their own problems, and tension starts to rise amongst the group of friends. With resentment, guilt, bitterness, lack of identity, jealousy and anger all bubbling under the surface, the friends' begin to target their frustration on a Turkish Muslim neighbour. The same neighbour whose daughter is having a relationship with Gavin. Will this relationship bring the two sides together or will everyone involved be forced to take sides.

Review of A Way of Life - A Way of Life is one of the best debut films of all time. Written and Directed by Amma Asante, this film is head and shoulders above the usual social comment films and its brave enough to tackle the route causes of social problems resolutely head on, and is worthy of being ranked along side Ken Loach in that respect. The film received critical plaudits upon release but never gained the universal audience that the film deserved. The performances throughout the entire cast are excellent, despite Brenda Blethyn being considered the only household name.
The reasons I recommend A Way of Life are: 1. A very strong and uncompromising story that includes very realistic situations and is not always comfortable to watch. 2. The entire cast are excellent.