Another Year review

A happy, ageing couple host friends and family of various levels (mainly low levels) of happiness over the course of a year as they face significant moments in their lives.

Mike Leigh is an actor’s director and, especially given the tried and tested cast, the performances are, unsurprisingly, a high point. Lesley Manville steals the show portraying a flamboyant but insecure, down-on-her-luck character who enjoys a good tipple, Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen are superb, especially together, and the wider supporting cast, with the possible exception of Oliver Maltman, are pretty much faultless and are wholly believable.

Split into four parts, one for each season, the unconventional structure eschews a traditional beginning, middle, and end. It is ever so slightly frustrating when the occasional question goes unanswered (I would have liked, and initially expected, to see more of the intense, brilliant Imelda Staunton) but the film is deftly and confidently directed and if you can settle into accepting the slice-of-lives character study that the film firmly sets out to be, it is entertaining, moving and very funny.

Another Year will be showing at the London Film Festival on the 18th, 20th and 21st October and will go on general release 5th November.

4 out of 5

18th Oct 2010 | Official site | On IMDb