Box art for Another Year

Another Year

drama


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.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    93%
  • Audience Score
    74%

common sense

ON for kids age 15
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5

Drinking and middle-age drama in excellent, complex film.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this satisfying, emotionally complex drama from acclaimed British filmmaker Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky) focuses on the lives and troubles of middle-aged characters (the youngest is 30), so it's unlikely that teens will be very interested. But if they are, there's not too much age-inappropriate content to worry about -- In fact, the only significant concern is the characters' frequent drinking; most is social, but one main character relies on alcohol as somewhat of a crutch. Beyond that, expect a bit of uncomfortable flirting and infrequent strong language (including sparing use of "f--k" and "s--t").

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the drinking in this movie. When Mary and Ken drink, they do it almost quickly and furiously. Why are they drinking, and what does it accomplish for them? What messages does the movie send about alcohol? What about the consequences of drinking?
  • What is the secret of Tom and Gerri's successful marriage? Can you think of other movies that portray positive, happy marriages?
  • Is Mary redeemed at the end of the movie? What has she learned over the course of the story?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    93%
    reviews counted: 24
    see all Another Year reviews
  • Audience

    74%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Only Leigh could find so much pathos in ripe, rounded happiness...

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, January 21, 2011

Fresh:

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fresh: Mike Leigh creates complete little universes in his films, lived-in worlds populated by naturalistic characters who behave not like people in movies behave, but the way people in real life behave.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Audience Reviews

1 star

More aptly titled Another 100 Years. One long slog of misery. I kept watching because of all the fine actors in this but it was grindingly downbeat. I've watched other Mike Leigh films so was prepared for a somber tone but this one took it to the extreme. Dreary.

- jjnxn, Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4 stars

The husband and wife we follow are the essence of Buddha; they live in the moment, aware of the hysterical nature of reality, the delicacy of the human condition, and the sublime beauty of a simple life - tea, a garden, family, and friends. Like a magnet, they draw in people throughout the year who are trying very hard to avoid living in the moment, and we watch them struggle, falling further with the help of various chemicals. This movie captures the genuine spontaneity and flow of life and shows what it looks like when good, albeit human people handle it with joy.

- fb1672039553, Saturday, March 17, 2012

3 stars

Mike Leigh is truly an interesting writer and director. In "Another Year", he starts with a depressed character that is having trouble sleeping. All she wants from her MD is sleeping pills, but the MD insists that pills will only alleviate the symptoms, not address their cause. So the woman reluctantly decides to see a psychologist. Ok - no big deal, right? But it is, because the woman is only a vehicle - setting a mood and introducing the audience to Geri, the psychologist. After her painful scene with Geri, the woman is never seen on film again. Wow! What a way to begin a film. So - we are introduced to Geri, and an office co-worker Mary, a middle aged divorcee who is having problems dealing with the single life. She tries way too hard at everything, drinks too much, and frankly, is quite a mess. Mary (in a truly marvelous performance by Leslie Manville) is truly the focus of the film, but really, Leigh has more stories to tell, some more subtle than others. We are introduced to Geri's husband Tom (the always brilliant Jim Broadbent), and their circle of friends and relatives. Each character has a story to tell, and there is much sadness here; especially concerning ageing and the horrible thought of being alone and adrift, unable to truly connect to those around you. I couldn't help but notice during the film that it seemed that Geri (the psychologist) and Tom seemed to be the only truly stable people around, and they spend their time observing the world around them, secure in the fact that they are comfortable with each other. So much of what is viewed here is depressing, as it should be - the topic of ageing, and the fear of being alone (after all, we're supposed to be social creatures, right?), are not subjects filled with sunshine. And yet Leigh balances this with hope, in the form of a new and seemingly happy relationship established by Tom and Geri's son (which of course is yet another source of pain for someone else... but that's something you'll have to discover for yourself). Fine acting abounds here, from Ruth Sheen as Geri, to some of the minor characters, especially that of Tom's friend Ken. Peter Wright is amazing in his drunken, wounded soul - tormented by the fact that life has seemingly passed him by. He seems hell bent on self destruction - perhaps seeing it as the only way out of his misery. Truly epic in his sadness. The film moves slowly at times, allowing you to really feel the discomfort and distance that surrounds Tom and Geri's circle, but its not until the "winter" segment (yes, there are four segments - hence the title) - that the film begins to lose its way. After wallowing in enough pathos, the film heaps on a meal full (well, it is "winter" which is supposed to be a depressing time of year) - moving at a glacial pace until the final act, which isn't a resolution in any way shape or form - how could it be - this is a story about life... a messy thing that has no easy cures. It leaves you thinking, which I'm sure is what Leigh desired.

- paulsandberg, Thursday, January 5, 2012