Ray & Liz (2018)

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Critic Consensus: Ray & Liz takes an unflinching look at lives impacted by poverty whose lingering impact is enhanced by writer-director Richard Billingham's refusal to indulge in sentimentality.

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Movie Info

In 1990, alcohol makes Richard's father Ray a prisoner in his own bedroom. Ray's estranged wife Liz and neighbour Sid battle for control of Ray, who remains hopeful that Liz will return to him if he manipulates her through his self-destruction. A decade or so earlier, Richard's younger brother Jason - then three years old - is left alone with his hapless Uncle Lol. The lodger tricks Lol into drinking the stash of alcohol hidden in the house and neglecting Jason. Liz violently punishes him upon her return. In 1985 Jason, now 10 years old, goes out with a friend on Bonfire Night but can't find his way home and ends up sleeping in a shed. He is finally taken into care. When a social worker breaks the news to Ray and Liz, Liz cries a little, but quickly forgets...

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Critic Reviews for Ray & Liz

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (2)

"Ray & Liz" is formally arresting and rigorous, though not at the expense of its direct emotional force.

Aug 8, 2018 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

An intensely observed narrative feature that draws deeply from Billingham's previous work.

Aug 6, 2018 | Full Review…

The characters are so colourful that this feels like a TV sitcom played with Loach-style kitchen sink realism.

Nov 20, 2018 | Full Review…

The photographer turned director crafts a searing narrative about families and the lack of compassion that derives from tough circumstances

Nov 17, 2018 | Full Review…

By turns brutal, tender and bleakly funny, this is an off-kilter, obliquely topical portrait of how grinding poverty begets dysfunction.

Nov 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Billingham allows us a glimpse into his childhood through a series of intimate vignettes and snippets.

Oct 29, 2018 | Full Review…

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