Mike Leigh is known for his different style of filmmaking, and while it must work well for a lot of his films, (I have only seen Secret & Lies many years ago), I’m not really a fan of the feeling it gives his films. Maybe its because I haven’t seen enough of his works, and therefore can’t call myself a fan. Or maybe Another Year really just wasn’t all that.
The lack of script translates into things just unravelling in its own sweet time, which is realistic but incredibly boring to watch. Especially for a film the runs for over two hours. It probably sounds like I hated it, but I didn’t. It had its funny moments, and its powerful moments, which is what I imagine Mike Leigh’s films are really about and what his admirers go to see. I really liked the story he was telling but I just wish it got on with it a little quicker.
All the performances, with the exception of Ruth Sheen, who plays Gerri, were brilliant. Especially the actress playing Mary. The character was so irritating and flawed yet you can’t help but sympathize with her. Ruth Sheen irritated me. Mainly because I thought the delivery of her lines was so mechanical. Had she sounded more natural, I may have liked the film more.
And I just have to say, I loved that Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen were Tom and Gerri. I don’t know if it was intentional but it was so sweet.
The screening was followed by a Q&A with Mike Leigh, mainly for the benefit of the students there (it was supposed to be an educational screening). He seemed really nice, and it just made me feel bad for not liking the movie more.