Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review of 'Another Year'

I am not one of those who treasures everything that Mike Leigh does, but this was great - a really touching, poignant portrayal of late middle age. The central characters are Tom and Gerri, a contentedly married middle-aged middle-class couple (he's a construction geologist, she's a counsellor in a GP surgery) and the others all are their friends or relatives; but for me the show was rather stolen by Mary, Gerri's colleague who is just not very good at life. She's a bit of a drunk without being a real problem-drinker alcoholic (that is, her drinking is not a problem for anyone else), she has a string of failed relationships, an imaginary relationship with her friend's grown-up son...and the fact that she is a failure but not a disaster makes her more sad and more believable. Can't stop thinking about her. Tom's angry, distant nephew who turns up late and swearing at his mother's funeral, and his silent, emotionally constipated brother Roger are great characters too. This is a real human tragedy, without catastrophes - just ordinary sadness.

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