Another Year

November 5th, 2010


Another Year

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Still of David Bradley and Lesley Manville in Another YearStill of Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen in Another YearStill of Jim Broadbent in Another YearStill of Lesley Manville in Another YearStill of Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen in Another YearStill of Lesley Manville and Peter Wight in Another Year

A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 7.4/10 (11,336 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: Mike Leigh

Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville

A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by friends, colleagues, and family who all seem to suffer some degree of unhappiness.

Jim Broadbent - Tom
Ruth Sheen - Gerri
Lesley Manville - Mary
Oliver Maltman - Joe
Peter Wight - Ken
David Bradley - Ronnie
Martin Savage - Carl
Karina Fernandez - Katie
Michele Austin - Tanya
Philip Davis - Jack (as Phil Davis)
Imelda Staunton - Janet
Stuart McQuarrie - Tom's Colleague
Eileen Davies - Mourner
Mary Jo Randle - Mourner
Ben Roberts - Mourner


Official Website: Official site | Official site |

Release Date: 5 November 2010

Filming Locations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: £10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £355,626 (UK) (7 November 2010) (105 Screens)

Gross: $3,205,244 (USA) (22 May 2011)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The film is dedicated to Mike Leigh's late friend and long-term producing partner Simon Channing Williams.

Factual errors: One of Mary's outlays on her troublesome car was for a new carburettor, but the vehicle in the film had fuel injection.

[first lines]
Tanya: So how long's this been going on for?
Janet: I don't know.
Tanya: A few weeks?
Janet: A long time.
Tanya: A year?
Janet: I Suppose so.
Tanya: A whole year? You've taken your time to come and see me, haven't you?

User Review

Mike Leigh turns the trivial into the truly tragic

Rating: 8/10

Mike Leigh's latest film Another Year follows the story of a happily married couple approaching their retirement years. Their warm relationship offers them security as the the film progresses. Their friends and family, by contrast, all struggle to some extent with unhappiness, and a sense that their best years may be behind them.

The film is a story of ageing; the small events that can make life either comforting or unbearable; and the refuge that companionship can offer.

Rut Sheen's role as Gerri is superb. Her open, welcoming face invites her friend and colleague Mary (played by Lesley Manville) to open up to her about her drunken fears of where her life is leading. Jim Broadbent's Tom is charming and self-effacing, confident in his own happiness yet nonplussed at the failure of his friend Ken – Peter Wight – to come to terms with growing old.

The film dwells on the small, predominantly non-verbal signals that reveal emotional and social insecurity. Leigh's direction reminds us that the sharpest insights into character lie in moments where we think we at our most concealed. Faces betray what we wish were kept private – at moments where verbal communication fails, physical expression lights up hidden fears, passions, failings and desires.

Leigh treats all his characters with a certain dignity – whilst there are moments where we are encouraged to laugh at their social inadequacies, for the most part we suffer along with them, knowing that their experiences are all too near reality to take lightly. We encourage Tom and Gerri to keep supporting their despairing friends, yet knowing at the same time that their married happiness can only serve to mock their friends' lonely lives further. The four strictly partitioned seasons of the film point towards a growing anxiety that it may in fact be too late for these lost characters. The cyclical nature of the structure suggests that there is no real remedy for those left unloved and lonely at the film's conclusion.

From the opening scene, where a woman silently struggles to recollect the happiest moment in her life, to the point when the dialogue slowly fades away to leave Mary isolated and forlorn, we cannot help but be both enchanted and dismayed by the emotional honesty of Mike Leigh's characters. This is what sets out the director as a truly gifted artist – his ability to heighten the routine into the dramatic; and to make the trivial, truly tragic.


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