When anyone asks a question of Timothy Spall's character in Mike Leigh's All Or Nothing, he or she usually has to wait for a response. Not that there's anything wrong with Spall, exactly. It's just that he seems out of the practice of talking, having abandoned his enthusiasm for just about everything. A London cabbie who generally rises too late to catch the morning rush, and calls it a day before the evening traffic gets too thick, Spall appears so beaten down by life that he's forgotten how to live. His family shares the trait. His wife (Lesley Manville) works long shifts at a supermarket, then comes home to cook for a belligerent, obese son (James Corden) and a daughter (Alison Garland) whose work cleaning up in a nursing home has placed her on the fast track to her father's taciturn retreat. In fact, Spall's unfocused disappointment is almost epidemic in his housing development, where still-lustrous wooden doors mock the graffiti-covered squalor around them. Returning to familiar, economically troubled turf after the extraordinary Gilbert & Sullivan biopic Topsy-Turvy, Leigh spends a lot of time taking in the scenery. It initially seems like too much time, as if he's not quite ready to abandon his last film's scope for the intimacy of the improv-driven character dramas for which he first became known. Balancing his time between Spall and Manville's family and nearly a dozen of their neighbors and coworkers, All Or Nothing takes on more subplots than it can resolve, but even when it moves the focus to the main characters, the abandoned stories feel like part of the air they breathe. Given, as usual, an abundance of deeply affecting performances—Spall and Manville's in particular—Leigh finds a path out of that stifling air by steering his characters back to each other. Few directors are so sensitive to the ties that bind families and friends together, even as their day-to-day actions take them further apart, and few are as capable of capturing the comforting snap of those ties tightening. It's a hard-won comfort, found here over a bleak stretch of days, but All Or Nothing makes it look like the best life has to offer.