REVIEW: Another Year

Out of pretty much every single film that Mike Leigh has done, they have always been the dark-horses and perhaps the underrated ones of the years of when they’re released. However, this is the first film that I have seen from Mike Leigh and for a beginner at seeing films from this guy, Another Year is a decent start. His directing in Another Year bought back familiar sites that reminded me of Sam Mendes’s work on both his suburban dramas American Beauty and Revolutionary Road but Leigh wasn’t quite as good as Mendes was in those films. Time and time again over the years we have seen dramas set in the modern era with either very similar and identical dialogues or the same thing for the characters involved. However, Another Year blends quite well because the film does have its leading characters but we experience people who are in mid-life crisis’s and people who do go through those even now.

Jim Broadbent, an actor who has previously won an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor in Iris) and has appeared in many British films over the years but has starred in some underrated films over the years with great performances and I’m afraid to say that Another Year is another one of those. Broadbent was perhaps the best actor for the role of Tom because he has that genuinely nice touch to him and friendly face we all like talking to and need comforting from. It is definitely one of his finest roles and is definitely his most underrated one thus far in his career. Lesley Manville, the star of the film, delivers an absolutely fantastic performance as Mary. that should have earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress although she was a contender for that award. Ruth Sheen was good as well as Gerri. It is a strange coincidence, really, because the husband and wife’s names are Tom and Gerri (just like in the classic TV show Tom And Jerry except the latter name is spelt different). Actor David Bradley has always played one kind of character: scruffy, dirty and either grumpy or depressed (or both in some films) old man.

It is a film that isn’t only set in four different seasons but the film is also split into four different stories where the leading characters are comforting their friends in their life problems and they are all different. The script was absolutely fantastic and rightfully deserved the Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. If there is any message that Another Year has, it is that friendship is and must always be a firm bond in everybody’s lives and that it is extremely important to have friends and loved ones always in one’s life. On the other hand, the main flaw that Another Year is worn down by is that it felt quite dry and I just couldn’t feel any deep sympathy or not that many feelings towards some of the characters within the film so it just wasn’t a very emotional film to watch like the trailer suggested it was going to be.

Overall, Another Year is an extremely underrated British film that perhaps isn’t one of the best films of 2010 but still is a decent one that needn’t be missed. If you’re a fan of dramas and perhaps even stage plays, I think you will like this one. It is neither a film to take very seriously not something that was made just to entertain and get a bit of good fun from. It perhaps isn’t for all ages but I think perhaps the best target audience in terms of age and generation is that this film would be a very friendly film for the elderly folk (especially British) to watch.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 18/05/2012.

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