Another Year

2010

Comedy / Drama

2
IMDb Rating 7.3

Synopsis


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2.48G
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English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
129 min
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1.57G
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Normal
English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
129 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dharmendra Singh 9/10

Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen), the couple at the centreof Mike Leigh&#x27;s latest existential piece, couldn&#x27;t be more unlike thecartoon characters who share their names. Together for several decades,their love for each other has only grown. I wouldn&#x27;t complain if mymarriage looked like theirs when I&#x27;m in my 50s.<br><br>When he isn&#x27;t working as a geologist and she isn&#x27;t counselling people,they spend their time providing solace to those who need it &#x96; Ken(Peter Wight), a straight-talking, John Smiths-drinking Yorkshireman;Ronnie (David Bradley), Tom&#x27;s laconic brother whose wife has just died;and most of all Mary (Lesley Manville), a jittery colleague of Gerri&#x27;sin the middle of a mid-life crisis. It is Mary who dominates the filmand who most elicits our empathy. She is without love and possibly evenwithout the hope of love. It is genuinely painful to see herdisintegrate scene by scene. <br><br>As another year in Tom and Gerri&#x27;s life unfolds, we see nothingparticularly fascinating happen. They tend to their allotment, theyinvite people to their house for food and company, and they reminisceabout their experiences. Nothing could be more trivial, right? Wrong.This film is about growing old and making the right choices as one getsto old age. Above all it&#x27;s about recognising that happiness is less aright than an aspiration.<br><br>The word &#x27;integrity&#x27; comes to mind when I think of Mike Leigh. Who elsecould convince actors to sign up to films where there was no script tobegin with? Throughout his career he has eschewed the Hollywood systemand has done things his own way (&#x27;Given the choice of Hollywood orpoking steel pins in my eyes, I&#x27;d prefer steel pins&#x27;). <br><br>An audience member expostulated at the end, &#x27;That wasn&#x27;t veryuplifting&#x27;. She&#x27;s correct, but Leigh doesn&#x27;t offer folly or fantasy.He&#x27;s a truth-seeking social observer and commentator. What&#x27;s alsoappealing about Leigh is that he doesn&#x27;t spoon-feed his audience. Hisfilms compel the watcher to debate what they have seen and draw theirown conclusions. Why should films give us answers? <br><br>I was moved by this film like no other in recent memory. One moment Iwas laughing uncontrollably, the next I was holding back tears. Thefilm emphasises a sad fact: for some people, things don&#x27;t always goaccording to plan. Sometimes we&#x27;re just plain unlucky. And that&#x27;s life.<br><br>www.scottishreview.net

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Reviewed by oOgiandujaOo

This is a big movie tackling big themes, and may, like Happy-Go-Lucky(Mike Leigh&#x27;s previous film) prove extremely Marmitish. The lattercomment may prove hard to understand if you&#x27;re not British, and that&#x27;sjust like the film (Marmite is a British spread made from yeast extractwith a love-it-or-hate-it umami/savoury/salty flavour). Another Yeardeals with a particularly British form of social breakdown andemotional constipation.<br><br>In Britain, from the 40s to the 70s there was widespread use of an examsystem called the 11+. Up until the age of 11-12 students were schooledtogether, after that point, students considered to have more potentialby the standards of the 11+ examinations were streamed separately inGrammar Schools, prepared for success, whilst those below the boundaryline were sent to Secondary Modern Schools where the focus was muchmore on practical education (bricklaying, &#x22;home economics&#x22;, woodwork,etc). The legacy of this system has been huge social resentment. Thereis a feeling in Another Year that the system is back, in the form ofuniversity education. With the UK attempting to educate 50% of thesecondary school student population to university level, a sociallyengineered bifurcation to haves and have-nots is being created onceagain.<br><br>All of the characters in the film are from working class backgroundsand yet the fortunes that life has graced them with are distinctlyuneven, they have gone in different directions, absent any idea of ashared experience that may have been the rock of previous generationsof Britons. Graduates Tom and Gerri (pun intended) have fulfillingcareers, heartfelt love for one another, high incomes, and have had theopportunity to travel widely. Tom&#x27;s brother and Gerri&#x27;s friend Mary areaging and alone, undereducated, lacking in the kind of accomplishmentsthat are social currency, living with hurt, and in Mary&#x27;s case,desperation. The message is not all one way, old friend of the familyKen is also a graduate and yet has not managed to find a place in lifeeither.<br><br>Scenes in the movie almost exclusively concern Tom and Gerri&#x27;s cateringto this group of friends and family. They deal with the misfortunes ofthis circle with a mixture of humour, irony, good cooking and alcohol,but mostly conceal their compassion and are helpless onlookers.<br><br>The mating game is key here, the unwedded 40+s exist in a state ofunsalved distress, futureless, scrapped. Even 30-year-old Joe,functional, graduate, well-employed and witty has struggled to findsomeone to be with. A notable absence in the movie is a sense ofsolidarity, community, public events, shared lives and shared values.There&#x27;s an illiquidity in the relationships marketplace, a lack offeeling and connection, all leading to a general anomie and socialconstipation.<br><br>However painful the lives of Ken and Mary are, the film givesoccasional glimpses of far more infernal lives, lower circles of hellwhere dissatisfaction has paralysed characters with rage or utterresignation. Anything more than a glimpse would have made the filmunwatchable.<br><br>Gone are the days when WWII veterans would whimper their way throughnight-times of post-traumatic hallucination for forty years withoutmentioning it to a soul, however the British &#x22;stiff upper lip&#x22; stillremains as a guiding principle in this movie. There is still very muchthe assumption that one should keep one&#x27;s private hell to oneself, orelse outsource emotion to a therapist.<br><br>What may be controversial in the film is the way you look at how Tomand Gerri treat Mary. A German lady in the audience voiced her opinionto Mike Leigh that the way they treated her was to look down on her,and that she felt this was inappropriate. Mike Leigh responded that thelady felt like this because she was a German and Germans did notunderstand irony. Maybe I suffer from the same problem because I forone felt that Mary was treated as little more than a baby, and with acertain hauteur, arms-length love. I think people who are lonely needto feel useful. Mary for example was never allowed to help withanything, though this does not excuse her, at times, appallingbehaviour (depression makes people selfish, however I feel it necessaryto point out as well that someone who is drowning in a river andcalling for a life ring, is also being &#x22;selfish&#x22; in the same way, and Ithink metaphorically the position is very similar).<br><br>Dour joyless watching, maybe one for the Cabinet to watch, after theexample of the film La Haine, which concentrated on French malaise andwas screened in front of the French cabinet at the instigation of PrimeMinister Alain Jupp&#xE9;.

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Reviewed by Cliff Hanley

In Mike Leigh&#x27;s new slice of life, Another Year, a married couple whohave managed to remain blissfully happy into their crumbling autumndays are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of oneseemingly average year by friends, colleagues, and family, many of whomappear to suffer some degree of unhappiness or at least confusion. Thefilm is nicely segmented into chapters, following the seasons. All oflife is there - from birth, to a funeral. Strangely, or conveniently,given the apparently troubled lives all round, She works as apsychotherapist, while He builds things, but both spend their sparetime together growing vegetables in their allotment. Mary, thesecretary in her clinic, takes over the centre of the story as shegradually moves into more of everyone&#x27;s lives. Or perhaps it&#x27;s justthat the film gradually opens up the relationship that was alreadythere. Just as it is with all the extra characters. As it&#x27;s a MikeLeigh film, all the actors will all have been living &#x22;in character&#x22; formaybe six months before breezing through, stirring up the plot withtheir back story and emotional infrastructure.<br><br>Lesley Manville, as Mary, the lonely and unstable girl of a certain age- 40, going on 17, really steals this in the final part, which getseven more intense than the rest of it. One thing I noticed right awaywas that adding to the intensity of the Mike Leigh close-ups, it&#x27;s allshot in high-definition digital. But in the end it&#x27;s the total effectthat works. The apparent non-acting. The marvellous thing about Leighis the way he shows really ordinary people doing really ordinary thingsand makes them really important. He is so compassionate towardseveryone in his stories. You just can&#x27;t help caring, too.

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