Hey Mert. Are you funny now, or do you actually mean it? I think you are funny.
I'm not sure if this film caught me at a particularly vulnerable point in my life or had a huge, profound, effect on me for some other reason... whatever the cause and effect maybe, I adore this film. I could watch it daily just to reassure my pessimistic sub-personality that life is indeed a wonderful experience. I have always been a Mike Leigh devotee, this just confirms what a master if subtlety and nuance he is.
This is so nuanced and beautiful. It touches on aging, loneliness, the limits of compassion and the elusive nature of happiness. It kind of broke my heart. I think there are things to be learned from this film.
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.
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.