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Another Year

A 2010 film written and directed by Mike Leigh

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A Movie About Happy People...Almost Ruined by A Miserable One

  • Jun 17, 2011

Mike Leigh has always been known for making movies more about characters than stories, building his script around the improvisation of his actors as they learn who their characters really are.   With his last two films, he seems to be trying something else as well; he wants to tell stories about happy people.  I loved “Happy-Go-Lucky,” his last film, which starred Sally Harris as an eternally cheery schoolteacher who refuses to let the satanic ramblings of her driving instructor (played memorably by Eddie Marsan) get her down.  It’s an engaging battle of personalitis, and Harris wins out in the end.

Leigh tries to do the same thing with “Another Year,”  and, while there are plenty of things to love about this film, it doesn’t quite work as well.  Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen do great work as a happily married couple; you will want to meet these people, and maybe to be like them.  Around them swirl a milieu of friends who are quite as happy, wise or well-adjusted, and they continually, consistently extend grace, and hospitality – but never judgment – to their friends, providing a safe place for them to reflect on how their lives went wrong, and what to do next.

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June 20, 2011
I missed this in theaters but I am prepared to see this one on Bluray or dvd.
More Another Year reviews
review by . June 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     Assuming that every movie critic is a living, breathing human being; it's very hard to believe that anyone would NOT like "Another Year". It is a very human drama. We can all relate to it in some context. Whether we feel for the characters or not, it has an atmosphere that suits this "relatable" narrative. I came to appreciate the film the more I thought about it. I tried to absorb it the best I could, and I did so like an eager sponge. And I was eager all …
review by . January 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I'll take another and another after that
ANOTHER YEAR   Written and Directed by Mike Leigh   Starring Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville       Gerri: Change is hard, isn’t it?   Janet: Nothing changes.       Aging is one of those human experiences that, if we’re fortunate enough to get up there that is, is essentially universal in theory.  In practice though, some of us age much more gracefully than others.  Some of us age while …
review by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
If “Another Year” comes off as unsatisfying, perhaps that’s a testament to director Mike Leigh’s affinity for depicting real life as it naturally unfolds. The movie doesn’t have much of a plot, but it does have a strong sense of character, believable dialogue, and a definite theme, namely that life simply goes on. It’s about ordinary people with ordinary problems; they may initially seem otherworldly, but they become more real as the film progresses, and by the …
review by . January 31, 2011
"Another Year" opens with an incredibly depressed woman (Imelda Staunton, who starred in "Vera Drake") undergoing a doctor-mandated therapy session in order to obtain sleeping pills. This sets the tone for the rest of the film, in which several of the main characters are absolutely miserable.      Gerri, the therapist, and her husband Tom, a geologist, are the happy ones. Now about sixty, they've been together since college. They garden together, they …
About the reviewer
Willie Krischke ()
Ranked #62
I write reviews for the Durango Telegraph, Indian Life,,, and other publications from time to time.
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