Strong Oscar derby contender: Mike Leigh's 'Another Year'
"Another Year" looks like another top Oscar contender for British gadfly Mike Leigh, who earned nominations for directing and writing best picture nominee "Secrets and Lies" (1996), writing "Topsy-Turvy" (1998), directing and writing "Vera Drake" (2004) and writing "Happy-Go-Lucky (2008).
"Another Year" earned raves at Cannes three months ago. The London Telegraph wrote in its review: "A mature, wise reflection on life’s joys and sorrows, 'Another Year' can take its place beside the very best films in Mike Leigh’s career – 'Secrets and Lies,' 'Vera Drake' and 'Life is Sweet.' "
Everybody's wild about the boozy performance of Lesley Manville, including Cinematical: "Lesley Manville's hilarious and touching performance tugs at the heartstrings as much as it tickles the ribs, and through her character we understand the real triumphs and tragedies of life." She's a heavy favorite for a best actress nomination since Leigh's leading ladies often land in that race (Brenda Blethyn for "Secrets and Lies," Imelda Staunton for "Vera Drake"). "Another Year" debuts in U.S. theaters on Dec. 29.
Photo: Lesley Manville in "Another Year" (Sony Pictures Classics)