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A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by friends, colleagues, and family who all seem to suffer some degree of unhappiness. Written by
One of Mary's outlays on her troublesome car was for a new carburettor, but the vehicle in the film had fuel injection. See more »
So how long's this been going on for?
I don't know.
A few weeks?
A long time.
I Suppose so.
A whole year? You've taken your time to come and see me, haven't you?
See more »
A strange and sad little film beautifully acted by its ensemble cast. Lesley Manville's agonised performance as Mary, aching with envy at the solidity and comfort of her best friend's solid marriage, must be a shoo-in for awards next year, but Ruth Sheen is also 100% believable as the endlessly patient, almost 'saintly' Gerri. Jim Broadbent's Tom teeters on the verge of hamminess, allowing Peter Wight to steal the male acting honours as Ken, another lonely and alcoholic divorcée.
After a sad Spring and a prickly Summer, Autumn brings romance to Tom and Gerri's bachelor son and Winter brings a funeral (not the one we've been dreading). Anchored by the couple's devotion to their allotment, Mike Leigh gives us a film about the seasons in our lives as well as in our vegetable patches. In life, as in the garden, some things flourish and blossom while others wither and decay.
Often humorous but mostly achingly sad, this is a very fine film about the Ordinary Lives of Ordinary People. Not to be missed.
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