Another Year. Directed by Mike Leigh.
I like my Film Festivals the way I like my former governors of Alaska: Simple, and easily described in one word. For VIFF, my word this year was disappointing. I won’t tell you what my word for former governors of Alaska is. I’ve seen some good films at VIFF this year, but mostly it’s been a big bucket of blase.
Until Mike Leigh came along and had to complicate things by putting out what was arguably the best movie I’ve seen at the festival so far, and one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.
Another Year is the story of Tom (played by the incredible Jim Broadbent), and Gerri (played by the wonderful Ruth Sheen). They’re a typical middle class British family. They live in a typical middle class British neighbourhood. They have typical middle class British friends. They have typical middle class British problems. That’s it. That’s the whole movie. How Mike Leigh turned that pitch into one of the most engaging, likeable films of the year I will never know.
This film is the perfect blend of brilliant script & talented cast. I’m not sure one would have worked without the other, and this film is a perfect storm of independent film making.
Now, I don’t want to oversell this. Nothing happens in this movie that you won’t find in your own house. The characters love. They laugh. They cry. They die. In short, they live. But while my life might be a boring cesspool of mediocrity, the characters in this film embrace their averageness, and in fact thrive on it. I highly recommend this thoroughly enjoyable, utterly charming little masterpiece.
(Originally Posted at http://www.futureshopforums.ca/t5/Tech-Blog/Vancouver-International-Film-Festival-Round-Seven-The-best/ba-p/231206)