I thought this movie was great! I've never seen anything by Leigh before but he seems like a pretty big deal. So I went into the movie pretty blind. I only knew Jim Broadbent was in it... and that Jim Broadbent is awesome. AND HE'S SO AWESOME IN THIS! In fact, the whole cast is great. Jim probably has one of the easier jobs, being that he doesn't seem to carry the emotional baggage as the rest of the cast. He's the relief that tells it as it is. And man, is he charming. Probably most impressive Leslie Manville, who has the challenge of playing a needy, chatty, jealous middle aged woman and pulls it off without making me want to repeatedly kick her in the mouth. Really... I'm super impressed with her. Just the idea of the movie itself is pretty intriguing for me. We follow a year in the life of a happy, middle aged couple who seem to be surrounded by people struggling with unhappiness. It's a super restrained film, very little drama actually ever seeps onto the surface of what we're watching. It hurts more because so little is said. All the while, I feel like the movie isn't a bummer. It's terrifically charming and actually quite a bit of fun to watch. The balance of lightness and suffering is pulled off so well. I feel like it handled the idea of Happiness and how it effects other people in a way we just don't see very much in films. So yeah... I really liked this movie. And I think its a DAMNED shame it didn't get the Oscar for best screenplay.
NOT FAIR! I want to give Jim Broadbent a hug!