Another Year

One of my favorite movies I’ve seen so far this year is Another Year, directed by one of my favorite directors, Mike Leigh. The film follows a year in the life of an unbelievably content/happy couple, Tom and Jerry (yes). The film introduces us to Tom and Jerry’s family and their friends. One friend in particular–one of Jerry’s co-workers, Mary–loves the attention she gets from the couple. She stops by, sometimes unexpectedly, for long chats that she initiates. Dinner and drinks are usually involved, too. She’s intrusive, yes, and she wants everybody to pity her, but Tom and Jerry (and the audience, too) empathize with her. However, Mary eventually crosses a line and intrudes just a little too much on Tom and Jerry’s private family life.

Mike Leigh has such a great understanding of what life is like for those who live it. He spends so much time focusing on his characters and their actions. His films are funny, but not because he intends them to. It’s funny–for me, anyway–to see how his characters on the screen deal with what’s thrown at them. We all have our quirks, and we all act differently around different people. It’s funny to observe that.

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