Another Year

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Another Year Movie Poster Image
Drinking and middle-age drama in excellent, complex film.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 129 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie provides a strong example of a positive marriage in Tom and Gerri's solid, loving, supporting relationship. They extend their generosity to many friends and family members, some of whom manage to straighten out their lives and others who need a great deal more help. The couple shows tolerance, empathy, and inclusiveness, and they don't easily give up.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The helpful, tolerant, empathetic, and loving Tom and Gerri are positive role models, but the movie focuses more on the trials of Mary, who is nervous, under-confident, needy, and relies on alcohol as a social lubricant. She pays a kind of price for her behavior but never really reaches redemption.

Violence
Sex

Adult characters occasionally flirt with one another, but nothing comes of it. No kissing or sex.

Language

Language includes very infrequent use of "s--t" and "f--k," plus one use of "piss."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character and one minor character drink heavily (wine and beer) and to excess; it's not made clear whether they're addicted, but they definitely use alcohol to drown their sorrows. Other characters drink wine socially throughout the movie.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this satisfying, emotionally complex drama from acclaimed British filmmaker Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky) focuses on the lives and troubles of middle-aged characters (the youngest is 30), so it's unlikely that teens will be very interested. But if they are, there's not too much age-inappropriate content to worry about -- In fact, the only significant concern is the characters' frequent drinking; most is social, but one main character relies on alcohol as somewhat of a crutch. Beyond that, expect a bit of uncomfortable flirting and infrequent strong language (including sparing use of "f--k" and "s--t").

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykhan2705 March 19, 2011

brilliant dialogue driven human drama.

A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 year old Written byalanps May 28, 2011

Brilliant

This is a grown up movie - it is deep and complex, very funny in places and tragic. I loved it, it is up with the best of Mike Leigh's movies.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a lovely older married couple living in London and spending time working in their allotment garden. Over the course of one year (divided into four seasons), they entertain various friends and family members in their home, including their son, Joe (Oliver Maltman), who breaks a long dry spell by meeting a new girlfriend; Ken (Peter Wight), an overweight working stiff who drinks and complains too much; and Mary (Lesley Manville), a nervous, needy secretary who also drinks too much and flirts uncomfortably with Joe. Some of these characters look forward to new futures, some old wounds are opened, and some hard lessons are learned.

Is it any good?

On several subtle levels, this is a very accomplished movie. British director Mike Leigh is famous for his working methods, in which he develops his screenplays with the input and improvisation of the actors. It seems to work; he usually ends up with emotionally rich, dramatically complex movies with memorable (and sometimes funny) characters. ANOTHER YEAR is no exception.

That said, there's a bit of a lack of a clear central character. Tom and Gerri are the anchoring characters, and everything revolves around them, but Mary is the most prominent character and the one with the biggest dramatic arc (and, notwithstanding Manville's extraordinary performance, she's not particularly likeable).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the drinking in this movie. When Mary and Ken drink, they do it almost quickly and furiously. Why are they drinking, and what does it accomplish for them? What messages does the movie send about alcohol? What about the consequences of drinking?

  • What is the secret of Tom and Gerri's successful marriage? Can you think of other movies that portray positive, happy marriages?

  • Is Mary redeemed at the end of the movie? What has she learned over the course of the story?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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