Cinema: 42 Up

Directed by Michael Apted

Every seven years since 1963, England has sat for its group portrait. A dozen seven-year-olds chosen then, and revisited in documentaries as they grew up, express the nation's cheerful willingness to settle for less than the big dream. (At least, that's what they say on camera. The Brits have such lovely manners, don't they?) A few have lived abroad, but all remain captives of a society still largely defined by class. Apted, whose films include Coal Miner's Daughter and The World Is Not Enough, has the storytelling skills to weave a powerful and poignant snapshot of some decent folks who have...

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