The movie was "written" and directed by Mike Leigh[?].
Most of the script was improvised. Mike Leigh told each of the actors about their roles, and had them improvise their own lines.
The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Brenda Blethyn), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
The film won the 1996 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival.