By Kristen Brandt, Assistant Art Director
“Another Year,” directed by Mike Lee, began playing late January and can be seen at Film Streams until Feb. 10. The movie takes place in the UK and focuses on a happily married couple in their 60’s. Although Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) seem to be very much in love, their friends and family have deep issues with getting older.
The movie starts out following a very depressed older woman who goes to Sheen for psychiatric help. The movie focuses on this character for a good chunk of the beginning, and then she’s never seen again. In fact, there are at least three characters in the movie that you think will have an impact on the ending but their loose ends are never tied up.
“Another Year” is told in four parts, starting in spring, moving through summer and autumn, and ending in the winter. This is clever because as the months grow colder so do the character’s attitudes. It is a bit slow-paced, but there are many silly little moments the audience can relate to and laugh at. There is a character from every walk of life, even though most of the cast is close to retirement age.
One major theme of the film is alcohol abuse. Characters are seen downing as much alcohol as they can get in almost every scene. This may have seemed like a running joke at first, but soon turned out to be just plain sad. Another reoccurring theme is the imminent threat of becoming one year older. Whether it’s about being divorced, widowed or not finding the right someone yet, most of the characters are battling with the fact that they are alone.
The audience seemed to enjoy and connect to the movie, but if you are the kind of person who doesn’t like movies that don’t seem to actually end, “Another Year” is not for you. We are left with many unanswered questions, and no real resolution for any of the characters. I connected to characters only to have them never show up again or never solve their problems. I am sure some may find this movie beautiful and touching, but I found it to be a bit long and dull.