Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Mike Leigh’s much praised 2010 tragicomical drama. During a year, a very content couple approaching retirement are visited by friends and family less happy with their lives.
Another Year is a heartbreaking story of a woman who desperately wants love and companionship as she faces getting older alone. Lesley Manville is outstanding as Mary, the most irritating and energy sucking person you will ever meet, who wears her desperation on her sleeve making it difficult to hate her.
The film centres on four seasons in the life of Gerri and Tom, a happily married couple who are the rock for their depressed friends Mary and Ken. You wonder why they don't seek out happy friends, but perhaps they feel they should give love and support where it is needed, given that they have so much themselves. But when Mary goes too far by being jealous of and…
An excellent ensemble drama from Mike Leigh. The film can be quite bleak at times dealing with these characters getting older and how certain ones deal with it. That's clearest in Leslie Manville's character. She's undoubtedly the standout, a performance criminally ignored during awards season.
A remarkable human drama; a confident effort from Leigh. His unique improvisational approach could easily have led to somewhat obvious characterizations (and occasionally almost does) but his are stereotypes that we know from real life and with collaborators like Broadbent, Sheen and Manville, believability always remains intact, in fact thoroughly so. Staunton's performance at the beginning is incredible and, like many characters in the film, hers is memorable and touching. One of my favorites of 2010.
Usually Mike Leigh's slice of life portraits provide some sort of understanding and growth from its characters and a form of closure in its final moments before exiting the lives that we were just cordially invited to witness. Another Year may be his most realistic and sincere slice of life film he has ever made. A year in the lives of a happily married older couple and their dysfunctional friends along the way who always seem to gravitate towards them for relief and comfort. In this year like in anyone's lives time passes, major events occur, people die, some get engaged, babies are born and we all grow a little bit older.
Another Year is highly underrated in Mike Leigh's…
One guarantee in Leigh's dramas is that the audience will receive fully multi-layered characters, as realistic and believable as people are in real life. For bringing such immaculate personifications on screen, you need a deep understanding of human psychology. Leigh manages to show his empathy and comprehension of these authentic human souls through a) extraordinary performances by either a leading role and some secondary characters, or b) great performances by the entire cast. Here, we have the first case, in which Lesley Manville's persona hides under what seems to be a film with an old couple as main characters. Nobody is a main character here if we exclude the fact that we are invited by the film to stay, talk…
Sometimes filmmakers get it too right, coming uncomfortably close to the truth. Mike Leigh achieves that truth in Another Year, a film that doesn't hide from the sadness, frustration, and ultimate disappointments of life. At its core is a happy couple on the brink of retirement enjoying their twilight years, strafing them are a handful of unhappy folk who I could relate to far too often. They drink too much, they're lonely, they're desperate and unhealthy... An excellent film, but don't expect any happy conclusions, or any conclusions at all as this film doesn't dwell on happy arc-narratives. We get a slice of life and then the end. Excellent, mature, at times heart warming.
And with that, I've seen every Leigh theatrical feature.
Lovely scenes as scenes, but as a whole Leigh's message has rarely been more simple or felt so plain. Leigh's imagery is still smart as hell though, and just about every major Leigh player shows up and kills it. Could have benefited from the sprawl of All of Nothing by showing us more of the lives of the characters around Tom/Gerri. Maybe so they don't seem kind of like one-note sad people.
Frankly, this is on the line between 3 and 3.5, but I'm giving it a bump for now.
It should be a crime to tease Imelda Staunton as a regular character, then have her disappear from the movie.
I shared observations about this film alongside thoughts on Tom McCarthy's Win Win in a two-fer review at Image.
Good but not great Mike Leigh dramedy about an older married couple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) and their encounters with friends and family over the course of a year. Stealing the show is Lesley Manville, who plays Mary, a divorced middle aged lonely woman with a crush on the couple's son, Joe. Manville's performance is spectacular for the emotional range she shows in the film going from ditzy lush to just a sad, lonely woman. The film is a good character study with a very loose plot and may not capture everyone's attention for the two hours plus the film runs. Still, ANOTHER YEAR is a good movie and the fine acting on display should draw viewers into it. Recommended.
A terrific funny-but-tragic story about an elderly couple (Broadbent & Sheen), who are happy in their lives, and their friends who aren't (mainly Leslie Manville). While I did find Mary quite whiny and annoying, Manville did impress me with her fantastic acting.
The only plot point that annoyed me was that the sub-plot about Mary has a little thing for her best friends' son Joe, it just seemed a bit creepy and quite forced.
Also this is my first Mike Leigh film and having been thoroughly impressed with this, I will definitely be seeking out Leigh's earlier films.
An astounding film. Rarely is something so real, so powerful and so perfectly put together. Another Year is shot with beautiful naturalism, boasting a script and cast that make it feel like you’re not watching a film at all. Lesley Manville, in particular, is something else entirely. There’s such a great deal of meaning in this film, as it mixes sadness and humour in a way that is utterly captivating.
For a film that covers an entire year, I expected it to encompass a broader emotional spectrum. Now, I am only 21, so I obviously lack a lot of life experience that informs Leigh's screenplay and, by extension, his characters' lives. That said, I followed these characters from spring through to winter and learned nothing about myself. I feel too much emphasis was given to the Lesley Manville character. It was just really difficult to empathise with her.
This is an actors' and writers' film. It is good, but it lacks the emotional gravitas I was expecting based on the poster's sprawling branches. If the leaves of the tree are symbolic of human experience, then the roots do not run too deep.
What's it about? Over the course of a year, we follow the ordinary lives of happily-married, middle-aged couple Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) and their various friends and relatives, who are not all as happy or fulfilled as they are.
Is it any good? Another year, another slice-of-life piece of drama from Mike Leigh. Thing is, he does this sort of thing rather well and, despite the mundane ordinariness of the lives depicted, we are slowly drawn into the world of the characters, helped by the superb acting which encourages us to empathise and sympathise with them. In the end, I quite liked it. On the other hand, it's easy to appreciate that watching middle-aged people talk for two hours might not be everyone's afternoon cup of tea and why it has been variously described as soap-opera for the upper middle class and as British 'actorwank'.
Creepy ending. Tom & Gerri are a new brand of sadists - deceptively simple people who derive pleasure from facilitating sad, lonely people. Lesley Manville's face finally registers this in the very last shot.
Creepier are the people who find Tom and Gerri to be nice people. These are the people that smile with a knife behind their back. Why continue to be friends with people that have continuously sad and depressing lives? Yet Tom & Gerri continue to present themselves, unashamed, pulling their friends into their lives only to reject them when they become too addicted to the happiness they share with each other.
Killing with kindness indeed.
- The Racket
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