Everyday

Over the past quarter century British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom has tried everything from rock comedy (24-Hour Party People) to film noir (The Killer Inside Me) to erotica (9 Songs) to offbeat adaptations of classic literature (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story). But quiet, naturalistic drama is his forte, and this 2012 example could turn out to be his masterpiece. In lower-class Norfolk, England, a mother of four (Shirley Henderson) tends to her brood and, periodically, carts them off to the penitentiary where their father (John Simms) is doing time. His crime is never revealed, which restricts our focus to her loneliness for him and his pain at having to father his children from behind bars. Winterbottom shot the movie over five years, using real-life siblings as the kids, and their visible maturation onscreen enhances this compassionate tale of a family trying to hold together against long odds. Laurence Coriat—who wrote Winterbottom’s breakout film, Wonderland (1999)—collaborated with him on the script.