With a title that seems to leave itself open for people to say ‘Another Year is another Mike Leigh film’ suggesting you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get from it, Another Year has surprised many by offering something more. Rather than being just another Mike Leigh film, his emotionally-charged latest effort is his most affecting and effective to date.
The film chronicles the major events that take place during a year for married couple Tom and Gerri (Yes, they’ve learned to live with the whole Tom and Jerry thing), and their friends and family. As we follow the ups and downs through the four seasons, 'Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Autumn’, and ‘Winter’ flash up on screen to show the changes and handily indicate how far along the film is. This gives a sense of structure to proceedings and each season includes different events and themes. Spring introduces us to the main characters, shows them at work and their interactions with each other, most are light-hearted and hopeful. Summer of course means a BBQ, which brings the characters together at Tom and Gerri’s. Autumn is the start of a new relationship for one of the characters, and the cause of a rift. Winter takes Tom and Gerri up north for a funeral, a family member comes to stay and it is hoped old wounds will at last start to heal.