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Career Girls

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Career Girls

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On a roll after Secrets And Lies, Mike Leigh turns in another sharp, affecting, comically tinged character study, this time concerning two college roommates—one (Katrin Cartlidge) defensively aggressive, the other (Lynda Steadman) morbidly shy—who reunite for one weekend after six years. Over the course of the weekend, the women encounter (and the film has the smarts to comment upon the implausibility of this) everyone who was important to them, shaping the course of their friendship during their formative years. By alternating between the reunion and a series of flashbacks, Career Girls highlights the fully fleshed-out performances of its leads. Small character traits have been thought out and followed through in a way that makes sense. Like Leigh's recent hit, Career Girls' apparent simplicity creeps up on you, and it becomes apparent that, when nothing much appears to be happening, there's a good deal going on. The emotional effects creep up as well, and by the time the former roommates say goodbye, it should be a familiar and moving moment for anyone who's ever been involved in the intimate entwining of lives depicted so well here.