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Rated PG-13 · 129 min. · 2010

Mike Leigh in a mellower mood than usual. The veteran writer-director of insightful character studies (Happy-Go-Lucky, Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy) here meditates on aging and urban disconnectedness in general, backed up as usual by a sterling cast of British thesps. Leigh stock company stalwart Lesley Manville heads the benign group-therapeutic session as Mary, a lonely, middle-aged office worker who seems to talk herself out of any chance of happiness – with Ruth Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Peter Wright, David Bradley, Imelda Staunton (in cameo), and Martin Savage in close pursuit. Leigh’s largely-improvised dialogue matches his superb cast. It’s his gift to be able to beguile us with beautifully etched characters, demonstrate one or more imperishable truths, and then usher us back out into the chilly night with our heads spinning. Recommended. (129 min.)

See our full review: Cherished Illusions: Another Year and The Illusionist

Cherished Illusions: Another Year and The Illusionist

Mike Leigh and Sylvain Chomet race the clock. »

Director: Mike Leigh
Writer: Mike Leigh
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley, Karina Fernandez, Martin Savage, Michele Austin and Philip Davis

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