On to the vision of a man who’s only getting better with age and every film he makes. Mike Leigh’s Another Year is sort of a follow-up to his little 1980s gem High Hopes. Both feature a happy couple, whose lives are not about their couple-hood, nor about infidelity, tragedy or monumental events, but about the people they meet and know and interact with as a couple.
Through the changing seasons of a year, any year really, Tom and Gerri, an engineer and a counselor, show that to be happy, you just need to not be sad. They are neither two sides of the same coin, nor opposites who attract; they are a pair of well-rounded people who have spent a long time together enjoying each other’s company.
And to Leigh’s and his fabulous ensemble of actors’ credit, this is the very opposite of boring. Everyone here looks and sounds like an actual person; there’s laughter and crying and everything that Woody Allen wants to be and never is anymore.
ANOTHER YEAR | Directed by Mike Leigh (UK 2010) with Ruth Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville. Starts January 27