Another Year (2010) Film Review


Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) have been married a long time and are happy. They have a son who’s going well, a beautiful house and garden and good friends. Their friends aren’t really as happy. There’s Mary (Lesley Manville) who seems to drink too much too often and make bad choices. Or Ronnie (David Bradley), Tom’s brother, whose son appears at his wife’s funeral with nothing but bitterness and hate. Another Year is true to its name; it’s another year in their lives. And that’s it.

The first scene was particularly interesting, with Imelda Staunton as a po-faced patient being seen by a heavily pregnant doctor. Then they were gone, only seen briefly again later. It was as though Mike Leigh was saying “this could be an interesting film, but instead, watch this”. Boo. I want to know more about that story. The story that was told was fine; the characters were interesting but it really just was stuff that happened in the year with no real plot. And for me, the end was really crap.

Another Year was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Mike Leigh).

Harry Brown (2009) Film Review


Bleak, bleak, bleak. Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is an elderly man living on a very poor tower estate in England. The estate has been overtaken by young thugs; ‘hoodies’ who live for violence and drugs. Harry’s friend Leonard (David Bradley)has had enough and decides to get revenge, but instead is murdered. D.I. Alice Frampton (Emily Mortimer), an idyllist police officer is paired with D.S. Terry Hicock (Charlie Creed Miles) to investigate, and is hopeful that she will bring the murderers to justice. But things just get bleaker and bleaker. It’s all just awful.

This is what ‘broken Britain’ is all about. The end of the film has the slightest glimmer of hope, but only after your film has been removed, beaten with a baseball bat, stabbed a few times and shoved back. It is a very, very good film. Just incredibly depressing.