“Another Year,” Another Mike Leigh Film

Another Year” (Sony) on Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack

The most egregious absence from the last round of Oscar nominations was Leslie Manville. Her heartbreaking turn as an aging single with impulse issues and a weakness for wine is a fearless creation and a standout performance in a generous ensemble piece anchored by Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen as longtime marrieds. They’re an easy-going couple who play host to a small community of fairly dysfunctional friends and Manville’s chatty mess of a work buddy, wrapped up in self-pity and self-denial, is right up top.

There’s a lot of anger and misery around them and yet it’s amazing how this film from Mike Leugh, with such unhappiness and disappointment and even death, can also be so warming and affirming. And sometimes, even awfully funny.

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