Thursday, February 3, 2011

A brief movie review: Another Year (2010)

Another Year (2010)
Director - Mike Leigh
129 Min; PG-13
Leslie Manville - Mary
Ruth Sheen - Gerri
Jim Broadbent - Tom

I feel as though there is a several thousand word review in me to discuss the new Mike Leigh film, Another Year, which is nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but I have to admit this is a film that, though I love for many reasons, I feel not many people I know will ever see it, and so I'm going to sum up my thoughts with a brief reflection.

Mary (Leslie Manville) gives one of the absolute best performances I have seen in film, as an aging alcoholic woman who is alone and depressed and desperate but cannot see what she needs to do to change anything. She frequently visits with a co-worker Gerri (Ruth Sheen) who is happily married to Tom (Jim Broadbent) and they seem to tolerate her because they are basically good people living a healthy life together.

This is a British film set in the London area with realistic people playing very realistic roles. The film is told through the 4 seasons and takes us through many emotions, but it is totally in the character of Mary that we lose ourselves as we contemplate her sadness, but as Mike Leigh does so well, we don't just see one side from the other characters around this central figure, we see the entire spectrum of good and bad.

I would not suggest this film for many people I know, but I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great movie about real life.

***** out of 5

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