The film doesn't tell a story in the narrative sense, it simply immerses the viewer in someone else's life and surroundings, leaving you to take whatever "message" you might want from it. This seeming lack of direction is its true strength.
The performances are, without exception, fully rounded and as utterly convincing as I've ever seen. Mike Leigh's modus operandi certainly brings out the best in an actor sufficiently confident and talented to explore their character to the full.
On the Film Club scale: Dong took no fag breaks; Shazzerooneypoos liked it lots and was engrossed throughout; Slocombe was effusive in his praise for the film; Frankenkeith found it hard to believe that it was improvisation throughout and enjoyed it hugely; Mrs The Millbrooker and I thought it was great. So there you go - another recommendation from Millbrooker Towers.