Hey Mert. Are you funny now, or do you actually mean it? I think you are funny.
What can I say? Just watch this film. Enter into its seasons and rhythms; gather the love that exudes from Tom & Gerri. Recognize the loneliness of the orbiting characters and their need for Tom & Gerri's nurture. This is a beautiful story with characters I have actually learned from. See it.
This is in my top ten. Mike Leigh captures people as their imperfection intersects their beauty.
"Young people, young people! Everything's for young people! You go to bars full of young people shoutin' about nothin'..."* Life is miserable in totality. Another day, another month, another year, another small realization of meaninglessness, even in ignorant fucking bliss. The camera track in, cuts, the end... hopefully.
Leigh's latest film skates a very thin line with Tom and Gerri almost bully-like in their contempt of Mary. Why they persisted on giving her alcohol when they knew it was a problem or why they would mockingly raise their brows at her behind walls yet continue to see her begs the question, what is Leigh trying to say? The performances are all uniformly great but it is Manville's show and she runs away with the film.
I'm not sure Leigh is trying to say anything other than to show people's charitable limits. Tom and Gerri tolerate a lot from Mary because they're aware of the sadness that's behind much of her antics. But they can't really do anything for her, and, at a certain point, for their own health, they have to limit their sympathy. I think Leigh's just painting a portrait. How happiness and connection find some people and elude others. Some people's lives seem to grow richer with age while other people seem to cripple.
Mike Leigh, in my opinion, is nowadays the most interesting British director working in the U.K. His last movies are without exception of the highest standard. Now Another Year is a film about solitude. Don't be mistaken about it, the main character of this film is not the federative and fusional Tom/Gerry couple but rather Mary whose attempts to be accepted in this idealized family (If I can't marry the son, I'll marry the uncle) are deeply moving. Highly Recommended.
Mike Leigh's Another Year is such a beautifully well done film where life is lived. As I get older these are the films I appreciate more and more, where through a director's eyes we can get a glimpse of real humanity and in the process learn something about ourselves. No explosions or special effects, just life as we live it. Just beautiful!
Flawless. Mike Leigh has become one of my favorite filmmakers. I can't think of anyone who creates such genuine portraits. He is one of the only directors around where I feel comfortable using the turn realistic; his characters are so complex and subtle that at times it feels like we're invading these people's life. Absolute perfection. That it was virtually ignored at last years Oscars is all the proof one needs that the Oscars are crap.
yadda yadda leigh is sooo perceptive re:the human condition, blah blah. subtle as a brick is right. sheen was phenomenal, so nuanced, but manville was miscast (gasp). she's too broken-looking, too forlorn, too naked even for leigh's camera. mary is lonely? let's spend thirty seconds in an extreme close-up on her to show just how sad she is. no depth, nothing revealed. i did like this film otherwise, though.
I find it rather patronizing to deny all possible ambiguity in labelling characters: no good character does a bad thing, no bad character does a good thing.
I don't think that's true. The movie is about the interactions between truly happy and sad people. And you see how even the nicest, most giving people have limits to their sympathy for people who interrupt their happiness – even if those people maybe deserve more. But Leigh isn't interested in judging his characters. The characters don't do big things, good or bad. They clash and they try to give each other the benefit of the doubt – until they can't anymore.