This is a fact: everything ends. Good, bad, or indifferent, nothing lasts forever. So it goes in life, and so it goes with The Also-Rans Project.
I announced this project way back on March 30, 2015, and made the first actual entry on May 31 of that year, with Ruggles of Red Gap. Even then I knew this project would come to an end, I only hoped it wouldn’t take the 6 ½ years it took to get through The Best Picture Project. Mercifully, it has not. Still, that first year was slow, with just three entries, the obvious result of me trying to put an end to The Best Picture Project and focusing my energies there. As that project ended in 2016, I pushed this one forward in earnest. Continue reading
Directed by Mike Leigh
Written by Mike Leigh
Starring Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
Spanning four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter), Another Year revolves around a long-married couple, Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen), as they interact with the various friends, family, and co-workers in their lives. There is Tom’s friend, Ken (Peter Wright), his brother Ronnie (David Bradley), Gerri’s client, Janet (Imelda Staunton), and Tom and Gerri’s son, Joe (Oliver Maltman). The most enduring of the friends, though, is Gerri’s co-worker, Mary(Lesley Manville). Mary is a longtime friend of Gerri’s, mostly harmless, who has been sweet on Joe for years, despite the sizeable age difference between them, and the oddly incestual feel to Mary’s attentions. Things come to a head when Joe introduces his new girlfriend, Katie (Karina Fernandez), to the family, which causes Mary to not-so-subtly break. Offended by Mary’s behavior, Gerri basically ghosts her, though in the end Mary comes round and atones for what she’s done. Continue reading
Directed by Henry Koster
Screenplay By Gina Kaus, Albert Maltz and Phillips Dunne, from the book of the same name by Lloyd C. Douglas
Starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie, Dean Jagger and Jay Robinson
This entry of The Also-Rans was originally reserved for Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Shakespeare adaptation, Julius Caesar. For weeks and months, and probably more, doing an entry on that film was the plan, and seemed a good choice. After all, the man won Best Director and Screenplay twice each, in back-to-back years, the only time that has been accomplished. Crazier than that, is neither of those films won Best Picture. So squeezing in a look at his take on Julius Casear was a good way to work him into this project.
Except Julius Caesar stars Marlon Brando, who I’ve ever-so-recently come to realize sucks. And faced with he prospect of watching Brando bring the same level of ‘acting’ to Shakespeare as he brought to Sayonara, I chose to pass.
And that’s how we got here.