Mike Leigh has figured it out.
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Mike Leigh used to be all shook up too but, perhaps because he has grown older, he is now less inclined to anatomize people’s griefs and grievances, instead focusing on that much rarer quality of contentment that we see in Tom and Gerri, whose names are an ironic allusion to the battling cat and mouse of cartoondom. This Tom and Gerri enjoy a kind of peaceful acceptance of the world as they find it, which is at the opposite extreme to the revolutionary sentiments that have at times in the past bubbled to the surface in Mike Leigh’s movies. To my eye, Mr. Leigh in his maturity (he turned 68 last Sunday) has finally managed to see past the class antagonisms with which he has at times in the past been almost obsessed, at times to the detriment of his movies, and instead trained his sharp eye on a human problem that transcends the vicarious resentments so beloved of those critics who prefer politics to humanity.
At one point, as Tom and Gerri are reading in bed together, he says to her: “I never liked history at school, but it seems more relevant as you get older.”
“We’ll be part of history soon,” says Gerri without emotion.
“Exactly,” says Tom.
Could happiness in the end be something as simple as remaining open and sympathetic to the emotional losses of others while declining to complain about one’s own? It may be so.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?