Monday, September 6, 2010

Telluride Film Festival: Another Year

I saw the British movie Another Year, directed by Mike Leigh, who I confess going down his list of movies at IMDB I have seen nothing of his. I went to this movie not so much because I wanted to, but because it was in a slot of time where the pickings were not great and I had the same confusion with it as I did with Tamara Drewe another British movie- wondering in the ensemble cast of character protrayed so well by again a few Hogwarts alum-- was whose story is it really?
The movie opens in a clinic where a housewife, played by Imeda Staunton ( a.k.a. Dolores Umbridge)

 being interviewed by the doctor- in a long conversation, but neither are main characters, then the doctor refers the housewife to a therapist, for a long conversation, excellently acted by Ruth Sheen ( not a Harry Potter alum, but a delight to watch) and she is also a  supporting character.

Then we see Sheen with her husband, another HP alum, Jim Broadbent ( a.k.a. Horace Slughorn)

in a lovely setting building scene of tilling their allotment in a communal garden that will be followed to mark the season in Another Year- but he also is a supporting character though acted wonderfully.
Finally we see whose story it is- when Sheen's colleague is introduced-

a glitzy, aging, insecure secretary who happens to have a "thing " for her friends adult  lawyer son. This is her story- how she longs for the rich full life Sheen, her friend has.

Lesley Manville was at the showing and she was very sweet, but in the movie I thought she pushed the dipsy-ness a little too much, with a lot of physical ticks and a lot of guzzling wine- one thing I have become aware of and am exploring is minimalism- showing just as much as you need to in the editing to get the point, mood across and yes it is an art.
The film progress through the year, the couples communal allotment keeping track of the season and in the winter, Broadbent's brother's wife dies and the family goes to the funeral and here is another main character that is not introduced until the very end of act two, played very straight by another HP alum- David Bradley ( a.k.a Argus Filch)

Spring comes, but no resolution for Manvilles sad character whose beauty is fading, and she is coming to the realization she has nothing to replace it with- unlike Sheen character who has a rich life with a loving husband and son that has found his own girl to bring home.
I haven't seen enough British movies to know if the lack of a focal character is typical but I did enjoy the fine acting  and quirkiness of these British thespians.

Another YearUSA release in Theaters: December 31, 2010
"Don't understand British slant on movies, but want to see more and figure it out!"

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