4 Stars out of 4
Another Year is about happy people, and then some sad ones. About some delightful seasons, and then some gloomier ones. Very little happens in Another Year but it conveys so much. This is a story about humans, not “characters”, with emotions that are natural not contrived to fit the story.
Another Year directly implies that there is nothing special about this moment. These characters (I’d rather say people) react and treat each other how they have their entire lives. There is a husband Tom Hepple (Jim Broadbent) and wife Gerri Hepple (Ruth Sheen) who reside in a comfy, established house with a fertile garden in the back. Tom “digs holes” for a living, and is married happily to his wife. They are fine. They have a thirty year-old son, Joe (Oliver Maltman), who is content but single. (continue reading…)
3.5 Stars out of 4
We need more people in this world like Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins). She is happy-go-lucky – obviously. But deeper, she is proud but unaware of her optimism. Her concern for others is adorable. And she loves life, like it is her best friend and since she treats it well, it does to her. Her friends, in particular her roommate Zoe (Alexis Zegerman), comment on her lack of significant other. But Poppy is content to be alone. Well, she would not call it “alone” but independent.
Happy-Go-Lucky is directed by Mike Leigh, best known for Secrets & Lies and Naked. I have not seen those films, but I know quite a bit about them. Happy-Go-Lucky exists in a different Leigh universe compared to those films. This has the similar state of inertia, but it dwells on cheerful characters, ruefully ponders the aggravated, and makes dark comedy out of Poppy’s obliviousness to cynicism. (continue reading…)