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The 2010 New York Film Festival | Mike Leigh and ANOTHER YEAR

The 2010 New York Film Festival | Mike Leigh and ANOTHER YEAR

Yesterday was the day that many of the veteran attendees of the New York Film Festival’s Press and Industry screenings were looking forward to; the festival’s screening of Mike Leigh’s Another Year and a press conference with the director following the screening. For those who are not in the know (and why should you be); Leigh is a hilarious presence at the NYFF press conferences, never missing an opportunity to condescend to a questioner or disagree with the fundamental premise of a question. His dry excoriation of pretty much every question he is asked (and even those he is not) are the stuff of legend, and yesterday was no disappointment, with Leigh offering dismissive responses to everyone who stood in his path. It’s not as if Leigh’s punishment doesn’t usually fit the crime of a bad question (which are a huge problem in general), but it does make you wonder why he even bothers showing up. Sado-masochistic pleasure, one can only assume.

As for the film itself, I really really enjoyed it; the story of an aging, empathetic couple who provide all sorts of social and emotional support for the dysfunctional people who they befriend and love, Another Year is a brilliantly executed piece of adult drama. One of the most amazing aspects of the film is the witty, quickfire banter between the characters; their casual, often hilarious conversational patterns feel completely natural, but also provide ironic cover for the emotional turmoil that lies beneath the polite, humorous veneer of words. It is staggering to think that the film was developed in Leigh’s legendary process of not having a script and developing the story, characters and dialogue in rehearsals; this film feels at once completely written (the pace and rhythm of the language is just perfect) and totally natural. I think it is among Leigh’s finest works as a director; if it lacks the grim immediacy of many of his previous films, it more than makes up for it with empathy and a very moving scenario that brings us into the depths of the character’s feelings for one another.

I was on hand to snap a couple of pictures (with mixed success… the lighting is not so great), enjoying yet another visit with Mike Leigh. Long may he continue creating.


Leslie Manville, Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Georgina Lowe, Mike Leigh
Another Year
October 4, 2010
The Walter Reade Theater


Richard Peña, Leslie Manville, Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Georgina Lowe, Mike Leigh
Another Year
October 4, 2010
The Walter Reade Theater

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