Another Year

2011-03-18 14:53
 
Another Year
What it's about:

Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a couple who are drifting past middle age into their sixties; he's a geologist and she's a psychotherapist. The pair has a stable and happy marriage and their son, Joe (Oliver Maltman) is a lawyer who hasn't settled down yet, much to his mother's chagrin.

One of Gerri's co-workers and close friends is Mary (Lesley Manville), who puts up a facade of desperate good cheer despite the fact she's been very lonely since her husband left her and has been drowning her anxieties in wine. Gerri has unsuccessfully tried to fix Mary up with Tom's sloppy but good natured pal Ken (Peter Wight), so she's startled when Mary begins openly flirting with Joe, more than 20 years her junior.

However, the situation grows worse for both women when Mary stops by Tom and Gerri's place only to be introduced to Katie (Karina Fernandez), Joe's new girlfriend.

What we thought:

Mike Leigh retreats back into London suburbia and documents a year in the life of a stable, middle-aged couple who've been through it all and have found a comfortable happiness populated by friends, their lush produce co-op and lots of wine-filled evenings.

The writing is superb, rich with the everyday bits of nothing that come to mean everything at the end of the day, although staying focused through the banality of these characters' lives will prove challenging.

The movie is enlivened by a boozy, heartbreaking performance by Lesley Manville, a close work friend of Gerri's (played by Ruth Sheen) whose unhappiness is only worsened by her alcohol dependency.

Nothing much happens, as these are wholly ordinary people, but Another Year is worth seeing if only for the pleasure of watching a great cast battle their way though one of the most awkward scenes in any movie on circuit at the moment. Let's just say it's rather unbecoming of a middle-aged woman to make her crush on a younger man apparent by being an utter bitch to his lovely new girlfriend.


A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by friends...

MITZI REDDY 2011/05/06 11:07 AM
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I enjoyed this movie - using the 4 seasons to follow the lives of the characters was very clever- story line is very real and thought provoking. A bit slow for those who enjoy action.
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