December 29, 2010 |
"Another Year" is about the turning wheel of life, an examination of the pleasures and jealousies, disappointments and insecurities, destroyed dreams and rekindled hopes that make up our daily existence. It may sound commonplace, but in the hands of master filmmaker Mike Leigh, the everyday becomes extraordinary. The film is also further proof ? if proof is necessary after six Oscar nominations for writing and directing, a Palme d'Or and a best director award from Cannes, and a Golden Lion from Venice ?
November 18, 2010 |
Mike Leigh's filmography is not lacking in emotionally draining high-wire performances ? Brenda Blethyn in "Secrets & Lies," David Thewlis in "Naked," Imelda Staunton in "Vera Drake," to name just a few. But there's a frayed-nerved quality to Lesley Manville's performance in Leigh's "Another Year" (opening Dec. 29) that's as raw as any of those. Manville plays Mary, an unattached middle-aged woman whose friendship with happily married co-worker Ruth Sheen grows increasingly desperate as her life falls apart.
May 18, 2010 |
"I always have a problem giving films titles," Mike Leigh says, thinking about it. "That comes last, and this film was a real tough one, a bummer. At some stage we thought we should just call it 'Life,' but you can't call it that, it's bloody pretentious. " "Another Year" was the appropriate title eventually selected, but the truth is that Leigh's exceptional new film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, really is about the turning wheel of life as dramatized by the hand of a master, about the pleasures and jealousies, disappointments and insecurities, destroyed dreams and rekindled hopes that make up our daily lives.
October 10, 2008 |
"Happy-Go-Lucky" is something different from virtuoso British writer-director Mike Leigh. For what feels like the first time in his more than 35 years of bringing an exceptional level of insight and intensity to the exploration of human behavior, Leigh has put a thoroughly happy person front and center in one of his films.
October 9, 2008 |
AS POPPY, the fluttering, free-spirited elementary school teacher at the heart of director Mike Leigh's new film, "Happy-Go-Lucky," British actress Sally Hawkins glows like a miniature sun, radiating an infectious sense of joy and a ravenous hunger for life. But as Hawkins has recently learned, unchecked eagerness can be a dangerous thing.
October 5, 2008 |
MIKE LEIGH'S reputation for a unique creative process and for fiercely resisting compromise comes at some cost to the director. In making a film, Leigh begins with an idea, naturally enough, but then he hires the actors and improvises with them for several months before shooting -- a style he has used from his earliest efforts in 1971 to his most recent film, "Happy-Go-Lucky," which opens Friday. Leigh can work no other way, he says.