"Looks and Smiles"
Directed by Ken Loach
Ken Loach's third adaptation of a Barry Hines novel
finds the director working yet again in the social realist vein as he
tackles rampant unemployment and lost hopes in Thatcher-era England. Mick, a
working-class youth played by Graham Green, struggles to find a job as a
mechanic. Like so many of his companions in their industrial town, he idly
watches his dream shatter. His romantic relationship with Karen (Carolyn
Nicholson) is stifled in kind. The film's unwaveringly sober tone and Chris
Menges' austere black-and-white photography heighten the protagonist's
alienation. A Golden Palm Nominee and Winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at
the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. 103 minutes.