Friday, November 15, 2013

Quick Thoughts - Another Year (2010)

11/12/13: Mike Leigh is a master of writing brilliantly nuanced characters and pulling out truly raw performances from his actors. In this sense, Another Year is another notch in is belt, and Lesley Manville's broken, needy, alcoholic narcissist might be Leigh's greatest triumph as a writer/director. However, it's just about all the film has going for it as Leigh chronicles four dinners, separated by changing seasons, which Manville's character attends, invited or not. Seeing her through the eyes of her more mentally stable friends, a likable Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen, is interesting, and perhaps vital to her presentation, but the pair provide no real drama in the moments Manville is not around to stir things up and make the audience cringe, a chunk of time which is unfortunately too much to sit through waiting for something to happen. But still, a film by the great Mike Leigh, even half-cocked, is better than most. ***

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