Director/writer Mike Leigh is a master at exploring the human condition. His knack for observing the everyday lives of ordinary people is a rare gift, and he always delivers keen insight. In his new film, “Another Year,” Leigh assembles a stunning cast of characters that will wheedle their way into your heart.
Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a happily married couple who have amazingly unhappy friends. The most pathetic is Mary (Lesley Manville), whose jolly facade belies a morbidly morose inner self that requires vast amounts of wine to endure. She’s convinced that her good looks work against her when, in actuality, she could use some age-appropriate dressing tips. Mary’s idea for turning her horrible life around is to purchase a car.
On the bright side, Tom and Gerri have a wonderful son who’s recently found the love of his life. This particular situation doesn’t sit well with Mary who, in her delusional thinking, had hopes of marrying him herself. Mary’s unacceptable behavior in response to their son’s good fortune casts a pall on the relationship with Tom and Gerri.
Manville’s portrayal of Mary is the shinning star in this bittersweet film. Although Broadbent’s (“Iris”) and Sheen’s (“Vera Drake”) characters are the solid foundation upon which “Another Year” is based, Manville’s utterly brilliant performance rocks it to the core. I am truly astounded that she did not receive an Oscar nod this year.
Leigh did manage to nab one for Best Original Screenplay. It’s his fifth nomination in the category. “Happy-Go-Lucky” (2008), “Vera Drake” (2004), “Topsy-Turvy” (1999) and “Secrets and Lies” (1996) were all nominated but didn’t win the golden boy. Thankfully, it hasn’t seemed to affect his efficacious writing prowess.
One of the saddest parting shots I’ve ever seen in a film is that of the camera fixed on Mary’s quietly desperate face. It breaks your heart.
Currently 0 Responses
7 Meet the Thompsons!
7 Meet Local Author Ward Larsen
7 Handel's Messiah, Renowned Conductor Robert Romanski
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
8 Downton Abbey Party
8 School of Russian Ballet :: The Nutcracker
8 Holiday Brass Spectacular
8 Mindy Simmons: Peggy Lee Show
10 Books & Coffee
During each of the last eight years, the Out-of-Door Academy families have collected food for Gocio Elementary families.
Forty Carrots hosts grandparents
Forty Carrots Family Center invited students’ grandparents to attend Grandparents’ Day Nov. 25.
The Rotary Club of Sarasota Keys is seeking volunteers from now through Dec. 24, to help man its Salvation Army kettle bell during the holiday season.