Rated 4 out of 5 by 1
Rated 4 out of 5 by Oglie Lesley Mannings sensational performance
Another year is one of the better character driven films that has come out in the last year. The film is about stability, love and balance in life. Why do some people have the best wives, jobs, houses, kids all at the same time, how do they achieve such a balance, and then why do some people do not manage to find peace in any aspect of their life, why are they constantly in shambles and their life a constant struggle. Does it have to do with the fact that these people were skillful at making bad choices thus chose misery and unhappiness or did life just give them lemons? ‘Another Year’ certainly raises these questions but I did not find any answers. However after watching several questions such as these still linger in my mind.
At the heart of this tale are Tom and Gerri, happy in their professions (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen), married for several years, they are the text book happy couple, doing everything together, comfortable with each other and loving deeply. Theirs is a rare union, they also have a son who is successful and they also have a great relation with him. We get to follow the happenings in their life over the course of a year as many friends and a relative go through crises. Amidst these wreckage Tom and Gerri are the only survivors.
Ken (Peter Wright) is a friend, a life spent working and approaching retirement, he is petrified at the daunting prospects that await him. He has no one or nothing to look forwards too, and he has happily resorted to alcohol as his partner. An emotional breakdown has him confessing that he is absolutely dreads taking the train to his town of Hull these days.
Then there is Ruth’s co-worker, Mary (Lesley Manning) who is a nervous wreck and her life as well. Every step is a misstep and every decision a disaster for her. Her life has been wasted on frivolous pursuits and trying to fill the vacuum. She is falling to pieces as well. She develops a crush on Ruth’s son, who does not reciprocate but is polite. One of the better scenes is watching her crumble when he introduces his much younger girl friend to her.
Another year is not a story that has a neat conclusion; it is just another year in a family’s life. The acting and the well written dialogue makes it engaging. Each one of the cast is exceptional, but I felt it was Mary (Lesley Manning ) who towered above everyone else, just for this act alone I may go and watch this film again. If you need an example of her trade, watch the final scene as the camera pans on her face with a puzzling gaze. Sensational. Four stars.6/9/2011