February 5, 2011

Another Year - 2010

Director: Mike Leigh

Writer: Mike Leigh
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Leslie Manville

Tom (Broadbent) and Gerri (Sheen) have an incredibly happy life together into their later years, yet over the course of one particular year find themselves surrounded with some rather depressed people, especially Gerri's friend Mary (Manville) and Tom's widower brother Ron (David Bradley).

Holy crap this film is maudlin. Maybe it's just been how I've felt the past couple of days, but I almost want to not recommend it based on that aspect alone. Definitely make sure you're in a good mood going into this one. Also, I'm going to have to take the Academy to task on this one. It's got a nomination for best original screenplay...somehow. The opening scene feels tacked on (despite a stellar performance from Imelda Staunton), serving as a very awkward way to introduce Gerri and Mary without actually giving any information about the characters themselves. The characters also talk a LOT, apparently as a result of the final script being the result of improvisations. While sometimes I like characters that talk a lot (Kevin Smith films, The Social Network), it just gets annoying with these folks.  Leslie Manville, however, picks up a lot of slack that the script leaves; SHE should have gotten the Academy recognition, solely for her scene near the film's end with her playing against the nigh-silent Bradley. B

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