Career Girls


1h 27m 1997

Brief Synopsis

Set in London over a weekend, a comedy-drama which follows Hannah and Annie, two friends who are reuniting for the first time in six years since they left university. As they catch up and reflect on the early days of their friendship, the story flashes back to the mid-eighties and their youthful antics and memories of their first meeting. It is through these memories, and a few chance encounters over the weekend with both old and new acquaintances, that they see how they've changed, yet find that their close bond has remained--even deepened.

Film Details

Also Known As
Deux filles d'aujourd, Deux filles d'aujourd'hui
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1997
Production Company
Afm Lighting; Eastman Kodak; Film Finances, Inc.; Film4 Productions; Joe Dunton & Company International, Inc.; Mobile Mouthful; Roger Sampson; Salon Productions, Ltd.; Thin Man Films, Ltd.; WB De Lane Lea
Distribution Company
October Films; Bim Distribuzione; CBS Video; CinTart; Cinemania Film Group; Film4 Productions; Filmfour; Haskolabio; October Films; Pandora Film Produktion; RCV Distribution; Rialto Films; United International Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m

Synopsis

Set in London over a weekend, a comedy drama which follows Hannah and Annie, two friend who are reuniting for the first time in six years since they have left University. As they catch up and reflect on the early days of their friendship, the story flashes back to the mid-eighties of their youthful antics and memories of their first meeting. It is through these memories, and a few chance encounters over the weekend with both old and new acquaintances, that they see how they've changed, yet find that their close bond has remained--even deepened.

Crew

Chris Allies

Title Design

Joss Barratt

Still Photographer

Orin Beaton

Boom Operator

Christine Blundell

Makeup Designer

Mick Boggis

Re-Recording Mixer

Jim Booth

Stand-By Carpenter & Painter

Lucy Bristow

Other

Simon Channing-williams

Producer

Russell Cole

Stand-By Prop

Frankie Cox

Best Boy

Dan Crandon

Stand-By Prop

Matthew Day

Art Department Assistant

Anuree Desilva

Assistant Dubbing Editor

Andy Duncan

Generator Operator

Martin Duncan

Gaffer

Polly Duval

Assistant Accountant

Graham Easton

Other

Alan Graham

Electrician

Diane Greaves

Foley Walker

Liz Griffiths

Production Buyer

Nick Heckstall-smith

1st Assistant Director

Zerlina Hughes

3rd Assistant Director

Marianne Jean-baptiste

Music

Peter Joly

Dubbing Editor

Mark Lane

2nd Assistant Editor

Marese Langan

Wardrobe Assistant

Piers Lawrence

Other

Neil Lee

Location Manager

Bek Leigh

Production Runner

Mike Leigh

Screenwriter

David Lewisohn

Other

Marcus Lindsay

Music Engineer

Georgina Lowe

Production Supervisor

Duncan Manning

Catering

Peter Maxwell

Re-Recording Mixer

Steve Mayer

Rt2 Trainee

Richard Mills

Props Pick-Up

Clive Noakes

Other

Andy Ormesher

Other

Robin Pim

Assistant Location Manager

Dick Pope

Director Of Photography

Dick Pope

Camera Operator

Zoe Porter

Wardrobe Assistant

Tom Read

Dressing Prop

Deborah Reade

Production Coordinator

Tony Remy

Music

George S Richardson

Sound Recordist

Josh Robertson

2nd Assistant Director

Julian Rodd

Foley Editor

Nick Rose

Property Master

Rhona Russell

Assistant Costume Designer

Jonathan Rutter

Publicity

Jonathan Sales

1st Assistant Editor

Robin Sales

Editor

Roger Sampson

Insurance Provider (Sampson & Allen)

Helen Scott

Art Director

Melanie Scott

Other

Dan Shoring

Other

Dave Smith

Title Opticals (Peerless)

Robert Smith

Songs ("The Lovecats" "The Upstairs Room" "The Walk" "Let'S Go To Bed" "The Caterpiller" "Just One Kiss")

Patty Stern

Casting (Sterns And Parriss)

Victoria Stevens

Other

Jack Stew

Foley Walker

Eve Stewart

Production Designer

Heather Storr

Script Supervisor

Colin Strachan

Camera Grip

Hannah Titley

Assistant Director

Laurence Tolhurst

Songs ("The Upstairs Room" "The Walk" "Let'S Go To Bed" "The Caterpillar" "Just One Kiss")

Will Tyler

Production Accountant

Paul Venezia

Unit Driver

Mark Westaway

Other

Bill Wright

Unit Driver

Film Details

Also Known As
Deux filles d'aujourd, Deux filles d'aujourd'hui
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1997
Production Company
Afm Lighting; Eastman Kodak; Film Finances, Inc.; Film4 Productions; Joe Dunton & Company International, Inc.; Mobile Mouthful; Roger Sampson; Salon Productions, Ltd.; Thin Man Films, Ltd.; WB De Lane Lea
Distribution Company
October Films; Bim Distribuzione; CBS Video; CinTart; Cinemania Film Group; Film4 Productions; Filmfour; Haskolabio; October Films; Pandora Film Produktion; RCV Distribution; Rialto Films; United International Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m

Articles

Career Girls


Director and writer Mike Leigh wrapped up filming Career Girls (1997) just a few days shy of winning the Palme d'Or for his film Secrets & Lies (1996) at the Cannes International Film Festival. That film would go on to great critical acclaim and five Academy Award nominations. There were big hopes that Leigh's follow-up would live up to his previous success. Career Girls fit into what Leigh referred to as his "family of films". Leigh was fascinated with ordinary people leading ordinary lives and many of his characters were simple British working-class people dealing with relationships, change and the passage of time. In an interview, Leigh said that the essence of his stories was about "the way people change and the ways they remain the same." However, Leigh believed in challenging himself to create films that were different from his previous projects.

Leigh's approach to filmmaking is nothing if not unique. He was greatly influenced by, and is often compared to, Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu who was known for simplicity and realism. Tapping into his extensive background working in the theater, Leigh believed strongly that his actors should be involved in character development. Improvisation, discussion and rehearsal would help fine tune the characters, create detailed backstories for each and allow the actors to breathe life into their roles by adding their own unique spin. When shooting began there was only a concept and no script. Leigh would work with his team to develop the scenes and would not reveal the fate of his characters to his cast to maintain that sense of realism.

The idea for Career Girls came from Leigh's work on Secrets & Lies. Leigh reflected on his filmmaking process and the development of both character and story. He wanted to eschew the conventional chronology and use that rich material--the history behind the characters that the cast had spent so much time developing--and incorporate that into the story. Career Girls stars Katrin Cartlidge as Hannah and Lynda Steadman as Annie, two 30-somethings who have drifted apart and are reunited 10 years after they first met in college. The film is told through a series of flashbacks as we see their initially volatile acquaintance blossom into a tender friendship. Hannah is brash, intense and insecure. Annie is vulnerable, sensitive and fearful. As the story alternates between their new lives as career women and their early college days of drinking, drugs, sex and discovering their true selves, Leigh develops a very intimate portrait of two women who have grown yet still remain very much the same. The term "career girl" is a British phrase from the 1980s. According to Cartlidge, "it was all about the idea that women should go out there and be as brutal, ambitious and single-minded as men, without having babies." Leigh also uses this term ironically as the two women still lack a sense of fulfillment in their lives.

Career Girls was one of several films that Mike Leigh made with his business partner producer Simon Channing-Williams for their production company, Thin Man Films. It was made on a smaller budget and tighter schedule than their previous projects. Cartlidge had worked with Leigh on Naked (1993) and Steadman was a relative newcomer with Career Girls marking her feature film debut. To prepare for their roles, the two leads spent time studying campus culture. Cartlidge, who never went to college, spent time on a college campus observing students, and Steadman tapped into her own college memories and the awkwardness of class reunions. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Cartlidge said, "our job, as actors, is to be as in-depth, as detailed and as knowledgeable about our characters as is humanly possible. What the audience is left to guess at, we as actors have to know." Among the other cast members are a trio of actors who play the story's central male archetypes. Mark Benton plays Ricky, the socially inept psychology student who falls in love with Annie only to be deeply hurt by her rejection. The two misogynistic characters are played by Andy Serkis, in an early supporting role before his blockbuster franchise fame, and Joe Tucker.

Released in 1997, Career Girls screened privately at the Cannes International Film Festival and then went on to a modest round on the festival circuit. The film received mixed reviews. Some critics felt the storytelling technique and the series of coincidences in the plot to be contrived. There was some resistance to the physical gestures and tics Cartlidge, Steadman and Benton used on screen. Other critics noted that Leigh's film was a letdown after the success of Secrets & Lies. However, the film was praised by various critics who felt that it stayed true to Leigh's vision and that it rejected Hollywood convention for realism. An Entertainment Weekly review reads, "the effort yields a rewarding take on the resiliency and therapeutic importance of friendship." Katrin Cartlidge received the most praise for her performance as the outspoken Hannah. She received various nominations and won best actress at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. Cartlidge tragically died a few years later at the age of 41. Shortly after her untimely death, her family started the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation to support emerging filmmakers. Leigh noted that Cartlidge was a brilliant character actress and brought much of her own unique spirit to the film.

By Raquel Stecher
Career Girls

Career Girls

Director and writer Mike Leigh wrapped up filming Career Girls (1997) just a few days shy of winning the Palme d'Or for his film Secrets & Lies (1996) at the Cannes International Film Festival. That film would go on to great critical acclaim and five Academy Award nominations. There were big hopes that Leigh's follow-up would live up to his previous success. Career Girls fit into what Leigh referred to as his "family of films". Leigh was fascinated with ordinary people leading ordinary lives and many of his characters were simple British working-class people dealing with relationships, change and the passage of time. In an interview, Leigh said that the essence of his stories was about "the way people change and the ways they remain the same." However, Leigh believed in challenging himself to create films that were different from his previous projects. Leigh's approach to filmmaking is nothing if not unique. He was greatly influenced by, and is often compared to, Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu who was known for simplicity and realism. Tapping into his extensive background working in the theater, Leigh believed strongly that his actors should be involved in character development. Improvisation, discussion and rehearsal would help fine tune the characters, create detailed backstories for each and allow the actors to breathe life into their roles by adding their own unique spin. When shooting began there was only a concept and no script. Leigh would work with his team to develop the scenes and would not reveal the fate of his characters to his cast to maintain that sense of realism. The idea for Career Girls came from Leigh's work on Secrets & Lies. Leigh reflected on his filmmaking process and the development of both character and story. He wanted to eschew the conventional chronology and use that rich material--the history behind the characters that the cast had spent so much time developing--and incorporate that into the story. Career Girls stars Katrin Cartlidge as Hannah and Lynda Steadman as Annie, two 30-somethings who have drifted apart and are reunited 10 years after they first met in college. The film is told through a series of flashbacks as we see their initially volatile acquaintance blossom into a tender friendship. Hannah is brash, intense and insecure. Annie is vulnerable, sensitive and fearful. As the story alternates between their new lives as career women and their early college days of drinking, drugs, sex and discovering their true selves, Leigh develops a very intimate portrait of two women who have grown yet still remain very much the same. The term "career girl" is a British phrase from the 1980s. According to Cartlidge, "it was all about the idea that women should go out there and be as brutal, ambitious and single-minded as men, without having babies." Leigh also uses this term ironically as the two women still lack a sense of fulfillment in their lives. Career Girls was one of several films that Mike Leigh made with his business partner producer Simon Channing-Williams for their production company, Thin Man Films. It was made on a smaller budget and tighter schedule than their previous projects. Cartlidge had worked with Leigh on Naked (1993) and Steadman was a relative newcomer with Career Girls marking her feature film debut. To prepare for their roles, the two leads spent time studying campus culture. Cartlidge, who never went to college, spent time on a college campus observing students, and Steadman tapped into her own college memories and the awkwardness of class reunions. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Cartlidge said, "our job, as actors, is to be as in-depth, as detailed and as knowledgeable about our characters as is humanly possible. What the audience is left to guess at, we as actors have to know." Among the other cast members are a trio of actors who play the story's central male archetypes. Mark Benton plays Ricky, the socially inept psychology student who falls in love with Annie only to be deeply hurt by her rejection. The two misogynistic characters are played by Andy Serkis, in an early supporting role before his blockbuster franchise fame, and Joe Tucker. Released in 1997, Career Girls screened privately at the Cannes International Film Festival and then went on to a modest round on the festival circuit. The film received mixed reviews. Some critics felt the storytelling technique and the series of coincidences in the plot to be contrived. There was some resistance to the physical gestures and tics Cartlidge, Steadman and Benton used on screen. Other critics noted that Leigh's film was a letdown after the success of Secrets & Lies. However, the film was praised by various critics who felt that it stayed true to Leigh's vision and that it rejected Hollywood convention for realism. An Entertainment Weekly review reads, "the effort yields a rewarding take on the resiliency and therapeutic importance of friendship." Katrin Cartlidge received the most praise for her performance as the outspoken Hannah. She received various nominations and won best actress at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. Cartlidge tragically died a few years later at the age of 41. Shortly after her untimely death, her family started the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation to support emerging filmmakers. Leigh noted that Cartlidge was a brilliant character actress and brought much of her own unique spirit to the film. By Raquel Stecher

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1997 (Shown at Valladolid International Film Festival October 24 - November 1, 1997.)

Released in United States 1998 (Runner-up for Audience Prize at 1998 St Petersburg International Festival of Festivals.)

Released in United States on Video January 13, 1998

Released in United States May 1997 (Shown at Cannes International Film Festival (market) May 7-19, 1997.)

Released in United States June 1998 (Shown at St Petersburg International Festival of Festivals June 23-29, 1998.)

Released in United States August 1997 (Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival August 10-24, 1997.)

Co-winner of the Silver Spike at the Valladolid International Week of Film.

Nominated for 1997 European Actress of the Year (Katrin Cartlidge) by European Film Academy (EFA).

Expanded Release in United States August 15, 1997

Expanded Release in United States August 22, 1997

Limited Release in United States August 8, 1997

Released in United States 1997

Released in United States 1998

Released in United States August 1997

Released in United States August 5, 1997

Released in United States June 1998

Released in United States May 1997

Released in United States November 1997

Released in United States on Video January 13, 1998

Released in United States Summer August 8, 1997

Runner-up for Audience Prize at 1998 St Petersburg International Festival of Festivals.

Shown at American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California February 27 - March 6, 1997.

Shown at Cannes International Film Festival (market) May 7-19, 1997.

Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival August 10-24, 1997.

Shown at Locarno International Film Festival August 6-16, 1997.

Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 22 - September 2, 1997.

Shown at St Petersburg International Festival of Festivals June 23-29, 1998.

Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival (in competition) November 1-10, 1997.

Shown at Valladolid International Film Festival October 24 - November 1, 1997.

Began shooting March 26, 1996.

Completed shooting May 4, 1996.

Released in United States 1997 (Shown at American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California February 27 - March 6, 1997.)

Released in United States 1997 (Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 22 - September 2, 1997.)

Released in United States August 1997 (Shown at Locarno International Film Festival August 6-16, 1997.)

Released in United States August 5, 1997 (Shown in New York City (Angelika 57) as part of series "IFP's/Director's Take" August 5, 1997.)

Limited Release in United States August 8, 1997

Released in United States Summer August 8, 1997

Expanded Release in United States August 15, 1997

Expanded Release in United States August 22, 1997

Released in United States November 1997 (Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival (in competition) November 1-10, 1997.)