Tuesday, December 28, 2010
A lot has been made about how Mike Leigh like to shoot his films (rehearsing for 6 months with the actors, letting them improvise and basically writing down the script as he goes along). In this one he ended up dividing his film into 4 season and he gave each of them a different look and feel. Well, to be honest, there's absolutely nothing new or original in that: summer looks shining and warm, winter is obviously grey, foggy and with muted colours, perfectly in keeping with the last chapter which is mainly about death.
The film is pretty slow and yet quite mesmerising. The wonderful performances have a lot to do with the success of this film and I wouldn't be surprise if I ended up seeing some of those names getting some sort of nomination at the Oscars next year (and of course the BAFTA... You know those Brits, are so patriotic).
However I did find some of the dialogue a bit fake and forced (especially the scenes at the dinner table with the new girlfriend). Everybody is always waiting for somebody else to finish their sentence before speaking again during the busiest dialogue scenes. On the other hand, during the slower and more quiet scenes silences and awkward moments are stretched a bit too far. It didn't quite feel right to me.
At the end of the day I couldn't really help feeling that the film is a bit too indulgent in a few places and some of those scenes could have been trimmed a lot more in the editing (I suppose, that's the danger of filming sequences in one very long take: there's probably not a lot of coverage to shorten things with).
Critics have loved it, of course, and I can see why. This is the kind of film that stays with you... But really, in a few years time will we go back to "Another Year" and watch it again? I don't think so.