Another Year Parent Guide
Without a strong climatic rise or resolution, this British film presents thought-provoking questions rather than high drama.
Parent Movie Review
It isn’t often that a happily married couple serves as the main characters of a movie, much less a presumably well functioning, middle age pair. Yet that is exactly what Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) are. Bearded and graying, he is a geologist. She, also graying and comfortably dowdy, works as a counselor in a medical clinic. But it is their home life that comes under scrutiny in this story.
During the course of a year, they invite a myriad of friends and family into their cozy, comfortable London flat. Most are lost souls seeking an oasis of peace in their troubled lives. One of them is Gerri’s coworker, Mary (Lesley Manville). The single 40-something alcoholic yearns for the kind of love and companionship she witnesses between Tom and Gerri. However her provocative dress and incessant flirting doesn’t attract the type of man she wants. Ken (Peter Wight) another family friend, is an equally lonely soul who satiates himself with alcohol, cigarettes and generous servings at the dinner table. Into this mix comes Tom’s brother Ronnie (David Bradley), an emotionally void man who has a bitter relationship with his grown son Carl (Martin Savage).
Focusing on the almost inconsequential details of daily routines, like making dinner and drinking tea, director Mike Leigh contrasts Tom and Gerri’s happiness with the utter desperation of their guests. Doing their best to support their friends while protecting their relationship with their adult son (Oliver Maltman), the couple maintains their sanity by nurturing a garden in a community plot. The work and fresh vegetables give the pair a shared interest and healthy break from the emotional demands they face. However, a vine-ripened tomato isn’t enough to better the existence of their visitors, especially when those people aren’t willing to pull the weeds out of their own lives.
Without a strong climatic rise or resolution, this British film presents thought-provoking questions rather than high drama. What is happiness? Why do some people seem to have it and others don’t? Will some people ever find joy? While most children won’t have the patience to sit through this meandering storyline, two strong sexual expletives and alcohol use are the biggest content concerns parents will encounter if their kids choose to watch it. Still, with so many sorrowing people around them, this unassuming, ordinary couple becomes the backbone of their small community and demonstrates the strength that can come from a stable marital relationship.Directed by Mike Leigh . Starring Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville. Running time: 130 minutes. Theatrical release December 31, 2010. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Another Year rated PG-13? Another Year is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some language
Violence: A son verbally attacks his father and a brief argument ensues.
Sexual Content: A woman wears a low cut top.
Language: The script contains at least two strong sexual expletives, some derogatory comments, scatological slang, terms of Deity and brief, mild sexual innuendo.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters regularly consume alcohol with some drinking to excess. Smoking is also portrayed on several occasions and adults talk briefly about using illegal drugs.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Another Year Parents' Guide
What role does the garden play in Gerri and Tom’s life? What significance does it have in the storyline?
What kind of man does Mary want? What do her clothes and actions suggest she is looking for? Why is there a discrepancy between her desires and her appearance?
What would have to happen in order for many of the people in this film to be happy? Is happiness something that is earned? Why do some people seem to prefer to be discontent rather than make changes that would improve their lives?
The most recent home video release of Another Year movie is June 7, 2011. Here are some details…
Another Year releases to home video on June 7, 2011, in a Blu-ray /DVD Combo Pack. Bonus extras include:
- Commentary with Director Mike Leigh & Actress Lesley Manville
- The Making of Another Year
- The Mike Leigh Method
Related home video titles:
Jim Broadbent who plays Tom in this story is a versatile character actor with a long resume including parts in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Damned United, The Young Victoria, Inkheart, Indiana Jones and the Kingdome of the Crystal Skull and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.