Another Year
Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen
130 Min./ UK

Mike Leigh has a very interesting way of making films. The director generally begins only with an idea for a script. Then he and the actors sit down to create characters. Thus they begin to improvise. Slowly but surely a script for the film arises. His films have had quite a few awards. Two Golden Palms in Cannes, a Leone d’Oro in Venice and seven Academy Award nominations.

Like many of Mike Leigh’s films also Another Year is about everyday life. We follow people in their daily lives. Tom lives with his wife Gerri in a quiet suburb of London. They are happy, do a lot together and love each other very much. The film follows them and their friends throughout the seasons. Tom is a geologist by profession and Gerri therapist.

A friend and colleague of Gerri, Mary, has a lot less. She tries to make nice chat with everyone, and is interested in them, but meanwhile she is very lonely and desperate. She seems to want to drink away her feelings. Mary often visits Tom and Gerri and their son Joe. When Joe brings home a girlfriend, Mary seems to breakdown.

Another Year is a wonderful film about the everyday life. It is a film that shows the unfair differences of life, happy and unhappy, togetherness and loneliness, but also life and death. Gerri and Tom are well aware how beautiful their life is. It is therefore particularly interesting to follow their warm, homey, helpful attitude of this couple. Another Year is an intense film about the everyday life.


Review by: Sieto Kooijker