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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Year Movie Review - Great Character Study Film

So rare is there a film anymore that can simply make it on great writing and great acting alone.  Another Year is one of those true gems that is completely void of melodramatic conflict, over the top tragedy, profound humor and intense love making.

Another Year succeeds because Mike Leigh writes and directs a terrific film with a wonderful, not so A-list cast.

Another Year follows a family and friends through one year of their lives.  There is nothing particular remarkable about this family other than you just fall in love with how genuine they are.

This film is a beautiful mix of great acting and directing. Writing too, of course, but the true pulse of this film comes in wonderful way director Mike Leigh and the terrific cast  bring the movie to life in wonderful harmony.  

Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen are terrific as loving husband and wife.  A true study in acting. They way they interact through simple gestures and expressions really makes you believe they are lifelong partners.

While there is a lot of dialog, Mike Leigh does not let the talking do the work for the audience. There is no talking down to the viewer in this film.  The dialog alone does not dictate what emotions the audience should feel. Watching this film, the emotions just come through naturally as if you were really there, with this family.

I really loved Mike Leigh's film and hope to see many more.  If you like a lot of action and suspense, this film might not be for you.  If you enjoy a movie that is well written, directed and acted, without over the top melodrama, you'll love it.

Something to look for in the film.... I can't speak with any expertise on this, but pay attention to how the scenes are blocked. It is the first film I have ever watched where the actors are positioned so ingeniously while remaining completely natural.  What do you think? Any film students out there?

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