Imitation of Life

A journal about film, music, literature and any other form of imitation of life. Seeing through a glass darkly…

Another Gem

The Sarajevo Film Festival is a sort of Sundance of the Balkans, the upside being that there is no snow and no queues to watch as many films as you want.

 I arrived here a couple of days ago and last night, between the unavoidable daily intake of burek and rakia, I was lucky enough to catch the screening of Mike Leigh’s extraordinary Another Year.

Another Year is a quintessential Mike Leigh film in its insightful description of the pain, the loneliness and occasional joys of the working class . Its singularity among the director’s excellent filmography lies in its almost complete lack of plot. The film follows the vicissitudes of a calmly happy couple and their group of friends, unluckier than them when drawing the lots in the lottery of life, during the four seasons of one year in their lives.
The picture features a flawless cast of Mike Leigh regulars like Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen and Imelda Staunton, but it’s Lesley Manville who steals the show. From her first appearance on screen to the quietly devastating final scene, she offers an existential X-ray of a human being hurt to the marrow by the sickness of life.
Lesley Manville went to the screening last night and gave a press conference this morning, where I had the chance of asking her about the famous ‘improvisation’ Leigh method, her new status as leading lady and the dress she will wear next year when she walks down the red carpet as an Oscar nominee. I hope that I’m right and  that Academy voters don’t forget her, come the awards season in half a year, but it really doesn’t matter. Her performance, as eveything else in this wonderful, unforgettable litle gem, are here to stay.
Here’s the trailer of the film:

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4 Responses

  1. Uncle walt says:

    Well, if i where her, i’d have too say ‘thanks for saying such lovely things’ or, alternatively, ‘thanks, sweetie pie!’ looking forward to seeing the film soon and more so to catching up with you guys! Enjoy the rest, have fun!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy the rest of the festival and in an absolutely non-british way ‘thanks for sharing’ :)

  3. Mlux says:

    Enjoy the rest of the festival and really, in an absolutely non-british way, ‘thanks for sharing’!


  4. […] Oscar chances since I saw Another Year at the Sarajevo Film Festival back in July (see my review:, and this award places her at the centre of the Oscar race and will probably cast a light on the […]

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