Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Year

Mike Leigh's Another Year is well done portrait of several characters. It is paced well, slowly but steadily, and lightly, but seriously, illuminates the misery of a few of them.

Another Year is about a happily married older couple who attract unhappy and rather hopeless single people. Their friend Mary is the center of the story, and her desperation, social and emotional incompetence, and self absorbed neediness are portrayed by Leigh with tremendous compassion.

In fact, I was left feeling more for the people orbiting the happily couple than for them themselves, as by the end their cool support and nonjudgmental noninterventionist stance made them, as a family, seem oblivious and impenetrable. In fact, towards the end, the woman, Gerri, says firmly to Mary, "This is my family; you have to understand that", calmly but sternly setting a boundary that leaves the lone and lonely just as they are.

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