Another Year Preview with Mike Leigh & Lesley Manville

Mike Leigh returned to Manchester for a special preview of his new film Another Year on Tuesday evening. This was followed by questions from the audience answered by the director himself, accompanied by one of the main actresses, Lesley Manville.

Keen guests to the event queued in the heavy Mancunian rain before filling a packed Cinema 1. They were treated to a humourous and sensitive reflection on family, friends and growing older. Set in typical British domesticity, a fair share of awkward moments and uncomfortable situations are washed down with lashings of wine and tenderness.

The film follows Gerri and Tom, a good-hearted couple with a happy life and solid relationship. Their everyday moments are portrayed with Leigh’s keen eye for detail, but their easy contentment contrasts greatly with the unhappy lives of Mary, Gerri’s friend and Ken, Tom’s morose mate. Seasonal changes give structure to the story that focuses on individual characters and plots in an unconventionally organic approach and the film boasts an ensemble cast of British regulars, including Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville and Oliver Maltman.

Leigh is known for collaborating with actors building up characters and stories over a number of weeks before they are adapted into a more traditional filmmaking process in the production stages. Both Leigh and Manville touched on this creative process during the post-screening Q&A and the video below give you a 10 minute taster of the discussion…

This event formed part of BAFTA’s UK-wide learning and events programme, giving audiences across the country access behind the screens of the film, TV and video games industries. For more information visit the BAFTA website.

Another Year starts screening at Cornerhouse from today for at least two weeks. Watch the tralier and book your tickets here.

Mary Stark
Cornerhouse Digital Reporter