Mike Leigh’s gentle yet powerful new film about family, friendship and ageing is a compassionate and considered work, balancing humour alongside its more melancholic notes. Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a good-hearted couple sliding towards old age. He’s a geologist, she’s a counsellor, and they have a warm relationship with their grown-up son Joe, a community lawyer. As they potter around their allotment or cook curries for their friends, the only remarkable thing about them is how contented they are. But two of their friends don’t share their good fortune: Mary (Lesley Manville), a work colleague of Gerri’s who bemoans her disastrous love life and drinks too much to try and keep up a cheerful front, and Tom’s old mate Ken (Peter Wight), equally lonely and unhappy, and trying desperately to stay afloat. The film unfolds over four seasons, an accumulation of encounters and mostly small events that highlight Leigh’s skill in taking the fabric of everyday life and turning it into something resonant and meaningful. He’s helped by his ensemble cast, many of them Leigh veterans, and all of whom seem to be inhabiting their roles rather than playing them. And cinematographer Dick Pope captures the changing seasons perfectly, from a sun-dappled garden to a forlorn winter funeral. Getting old is clearly no picnic – but how refreshing to see it treated with honesty and understanding.
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.