Another Year – Review

Last night Boris Johnson bumblingly introduced Mike Leigh’s Another Year, slightly awkward when Mike Leigh later thanked the UK Film Council, an institution axed by Johnson’s own party. That’s enough of politics though…

Another Year is beautiful, sad and not quite perfect. Ruth Sheen and Jim Broadbent play the happily married couple Tom and Gerri who act as a strong contrast to Lesley Manville’s tragic singleton Mary.

The film takes place over a year, split into four seasons in the lives of Tom and Gerri. Each season has subtly different colouring barring Winter where the grey tones are a bit jarring, and the film becomes nothing short of depressing before fading to black with no real conclusion.

The film is a masterclass in brilliant dialogue heavy scenes and good old fashioned character acting. Lesley Manville steals the show and is at first hilarious and then utterly heartbreaking. The lack of a proper ending allows the film to live on in your head, even if it is dissatisfying.

Not quite sure what was going on with Imelda Staunton at the start.

After the film Leigh, Manville, Sheen and Broadbent did a short Q&A that was barely audible. They mostly discussed the way the film was written, with Leigh building up each character from birth with each individual actor before they got together and created dialogue. It’s a unique method, but one most writers don’t have the luxury of. And now for another poor quality photo:

Another Year is on general release on 5th November 2010 and is good stuff 80% of the time.