Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville and Oliver Maltman
Four stories set to the four seasons; this fly on the wall movie tells a year in the lives of elderly married couple Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) and friends. A motley crew if ever there was with mediocrity a byword and in short Mike Leigh’s kind of people. Family and friends of geologist Tom and medical counselor Gerri are all searching for what the couple has i.e. contentment honed by decades of kindness, tolerance and understanding. Together they spend their spare time pottering about in their allotment and generally loving every second of their time together. Their close circle of friends includes bruised fruits and far less well rounded. Bachelor son, Joe (Oliver Maltman) is too busy to find a partner and Mary (Lesley Manville) is a childless divorcée who feels life has passed her by and now seeks solace in the bottle. As the seasons pass hope, disappointment, love, loneliness, sadness, joy, birth, and death are all played out in this superbly acted drama. The movie is beautifully and sensitively photographed by Dick Pope and as you might expect from the director of Happy-go-lucky et al, the dialogue is quick fire witty, natural and very Mike Leigh. Savour Lesley Manville’s brilliant performance as Mary in this good movie which is well worth seeing.