3.7 stars. I'm inclined towards not trusting the yeasty softness of Broadbent and Sheen's faces so I perhaps felt more distanced from Tom and Gerri that I otherwise might have been. Perhaps because I'm currently the age of their son Joe I was inclined to see them as good-natured Boomers who'd squandered the opportunities of their youthful left-wing radicalism... but then, cruel as life is, should we judge?
A subtle, devastating look at the havoc wreaked by the passage of time, and a beautiful portrayal of the pain of loneliness and isolation. Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen both do characteristically fantastic work here but the light indeed shines brightest on Lesley Manville who owns every single scene that she's in. Quiet and lived-in, this is intimate, thoughtful work, and cast and crew alike deserved the accolades.
Nothing much happens in this one other than the mundainity of life itself. Death, birth, time passing, the ritual of seasons, loss and lonliness. And alot of drinking. For celebration, for after work, for loss, and to forget. Not many laughs like some Mike Leighs, just real life, and pathos. From the desperate Imelda at the start, to the tragic Lesley at the end. beautifully acted by all.
Another great Mike Leigh film. A lot of reviews focus on the 'happy couple' at the film's centre, but for me this was more about the distance between those well-settled in middle age and those, like the frazzled Mary and the lonely Ken, who are on the outside of the wealthy baby boomer generation - at times Tom, Gerri and Joe seem to lack empathy for them, and Mary is the only one who can bond with the depressed Ron.
Another Year is ANOTHER wonderful film from writer-director Mike Leigh. It may seem a bit light in comparison to some of his other movies, although that doesn't mean it's a laugh-riot, but Leigh decides to focus this time around on relationships, friendships, and the good and the bad baggage that we all carry through our lives.
A triangle film may be the initial expectation: that the needy friend will come between the allotment couple, Tom and Gerri. But as seasons pass, their complacent mutuality remains while those around them wilt. They cultivate friends with amused tolerance, but the limit to their conventional bonhomie appears if the family is slighted from within or without. A deft film, steelier than its apparent everyday amiability.
Lesley Manville brilliant. Strong echoes of Brenda Blethyn but she casts her own unique portrayal of neuroticism and right on the edge of nervous breakdown tension into every millisecond of the performance. I enjoyed this every bit as much as Secrets and Lies, if not more... just glad I saw this as well.