Another Year (Leigh, 2010)
Mike Leigh is a director whose work I’ve dabbled in for a while, but have never dove in completely. And, really, I can’t figure out why. I have yet to see one I don’t like, and Another Year is no exception. The film follows an aging, happily married couple as they spend time with friends, their son, and other family. The people the surround themselves with are in all different stages of life – some happy, some desperate, some grieving, and some plain content. Their lives weave in such a way that awkward situations are naturally created, most so real they are painful.
Lesley Manville absolutely dominates this film with her performance as a co-worker/friend who finds herself involved in nearly every important event – finding herself in the center of most of these awkward situations. She is sad, lonely, and desperate, and she finds comfort in the protagonist couple. And despite their heart to see her happy, their relationship isn’t always sunny when she pushes the limits, and that might be the most sad (but realistic) aspect of the story. Leigh didn’t necessarily blow me away with this one, but it is still intriguing, and extremely well made. 8.25/10