Happy Characters Are Real Too

Brett McCracken praises Mike Leigh's new film, Another Year:

We live in a time when “authenticity” is equated with those things or those people who are forthright in their brokenness and messiness, while stable, happy people are sometimes looked upon with skepticism, as if their lack of apparent problems makes them phony or untrustworthy. Our jadedness leads us to a sort of self-reinforcing stasis of raw brokenness, because this is what we believe. This is what we know. But what we really need are models of goodness & virtue in our lives… figures of hope who can motivate us out of the cycle of dreary cynicism.

Another Year offers a great example of such people–a happily married, flourishing couple who love people in need but don’t pander to them. They stand firm in their principles without condescending to those struggling around them...