A happily married 60-something couple tend to their allotment in between various visits by family and friends – in particular drama queen Mary (Lesley Manville), a woman who was never meant to be alone. She still thinks she has a chance with the couple’s son Joe, even though he’s 20 years her junior.
This Mike Leigh film has an improvised script, bringing naturalness and overacting in equal measure. It’s when the camera lingers on Manville, silent as realisation and self-awareness play out over her face, that Another Year is most touching and effective. But the first casualty of improvisation is plot – I’ve pretty much covered that in the first sentence. 7/10
Released January 27, 2011