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Mike Leigh’s Another Year

In the fall of 2008, the Walker paid tribute to English writer-director Mike Leigh with the ten film retrospective and regis dialogue, Mike Leigh: Moments. Over the course of Leigh’s marvelous and prolific career, he’s garnered special attention for bringing psychological and emotional clarity to a decidedly English brand of mannered comedy. His latest ensemble […]

In the fall of 2008, the Walker paid tribute to English writer-director Mike Leigh with the ten film retrospective and regis dialogue, Mike Leigh: Moments. Over the course of Leigh’s marvelous and prolific career, he’s garnered special attention for bringing psychological and emotional clarity to a decidedly English brand of mannered comedy. His latest ensemble piece, Another Year, opened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d’Or and will make its US premiere fittingly at the end of the year, on December 29th. Like so many of Leigh’s films, the title aptly hints at the picture’s theme.

In Mike Leigh’s Another Year, four seasons come and go, characters arrive and depart, produce ripens and rots, everything and nothing changes. There’s such weariness in that title. Living is shadowed by dying, bounty is turned over by hunger, loneliness is assuaged by company. People can’t go on, yet they still do. They fret through Sunday night to board the train on Monday morning.

See the full review by Eric Hynes.

Leigh, who has to be reckoned as one of the greatest living actor’s directors, casts three longtime collaborators as the central characters: the ebullient, inimitable Jim Broadbent inhabits the skin of Tom, a geologist, while the long-faced, expressive Ruth Sheen plays his wife, Gerrie, a medical counselor; but it is Lesley Manville’s performance as Mary, a dipsomaniac and friend of Gerrie’s, that has attracted the most attention. With her emotional expansiveness, Manville brings to light the vulnerable semi-tragic, semi-comic sides of her character and has already won the best actress award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. Another Year should be another film lover’s delight.

The Mike Leigh Regis Dialogue with Scott Foundas is also available for your enjoyment on the Walker Channel.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm-mfxOiUXI&feature=related[/youtube]

So long for now, folks. This is my first foray into the Walker’s blog as a new Film/Video intern.