Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Another Year (film)

This is a film about us, whether we like it or not.

Another Year is full of brilliantly believable characters, searching for happiness as they negotiate life's ups and downs. As the year passes friends and family move in and out of the lives of Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen), savouring their hospitality, generosity and friendship. Tom and Gerri's stability is irresistable to those whose lives have taken a tragic turn. They are the epitome of great friends, doing what they can to help.

Each season we return with Gerri and Tom to the community garden where they tend their garden with care, just as they do their relationships. The garden is a metaphor for happiness, not flash-in-the-pan but a sustained kind that comes with an investment of time and devotion. The garden is also a sanctuary away from troubled friends, in fact their son is the only one we ever see joining them to tend the garden beds.

But Gerri and Tom are not doormats. Generosity is not doled out at their family's expense, and when Mary (Lesley Manville) crosses this line they are "disappointed" and distance themselves from her. Ultimately our choices are our own responsibility, affecting our relationships, health, work and attitude to life.

Written and directed by Mike Leigh, Secrets and Lies(1996), Vera Drake (2004) and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Another Year premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and has been widely acclaimed and awarded.

In Melbourne Another Year is reaching the end of its cinema life, but it can still be seen in some Palace Cinemas (Balwyn, Brighton Bay and Kino), Cameo Belgrave, and Mornington.

Watch the movie trailer
Have a gander at Lucy's other reviews

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