Mike Leigh at Cannes Film Festival 2010This morning began with an 8.30am screening of the new film from Mike Leigh, Another Year. Leigh is one of the big hitters of this year's Cannes Official Competition, having previously won the Palme D'Or in 1996 with Secrets And Lies.

There is extra frisson because Cannes rejected Vera Drake in 2004, the film then going on to win the top prize in Venice. His next picture Happy-Go-Lucky premiered in Berlin, suggesting Leigh may have harboured a grudge against Cannes over the rejection.

But the director is back in Cannes, having reportedly been assiduously wooed by the festival, embarrassed at its Vera Drake error.

Find out about Mike Leigh's new film and more from day three of Cannes after the jump... Mike Leigh at Cannes Film Festival 2010This morning began with an 8.30am screening of the new film from Mike Leigh, Another Year. Leigh is one of the big hitters of this year's Cannes Official Competition, having previously won the Palme D'Or in 1996 with Secrets And Lies.

There is extra frisson because Cannes rejected Vera Drake in 2004, the film then going on to win the top prize in Venice. His next picture Happy-Go-Lucky premiered in Berlin, suggesting Leigh may have harboured a grudge against Cannes over the rejection.

But the director is back in Cannes, having reportedly been assiduously wooed by the festival, embarrassed at its Vera Drake error. The film is at first sight a slice-of-life drama, offering four glimpses on a married couple's lives in spring, summer, autumn and winter – story takes a back seat. But over the course of two hours and nine minutes a strong theme emerges: the pain of loneliness. Although Gerri (Ruth Sheen) and Tom (Jim Broadbent) are happily married, some of their friends are not so lucky, and no amount of empathy can ever bridge that gulf. They cannot truly know what it feels like to be alone. It's one of Leigh's very best films, which slowly grows steadily in stature after a faltering start. Lesley Manville delivers a performance both funny and affecting as Gerri's emotionally messy colleague Mary, while Broadbent, working in a more delicate register, is a marvel.

Sadly, I have no party action to report. Last night I had been invited to a swanky-sounding bash on the Pegasus II yacht in the Cannes harbour, but I had committed to dinner at a friend's apartment, and then I needed to be up early for my screening. My flatmate was out partying at famed Eurotrash hangout the VIP Club, where Pharrell Williams performed, and Rush Hour director Brett Ratner was living large – so I'll have to settle for the vicarious thrills of all that.

Second film of the day was Gregg Araki's Kaboom. I'd be amazed if a film in Cannes delivers a more photogenic or sexier cast, as various American college students trade barbed witticisms, copulate and are stalked by a sinister cult wearing animal masks. Think Donnie Darko, with prettier colours and more ambiguous sexuality. Kaboom represents the latest stage in Araki's maturing talent, progressing from his too-cool-for-school earlier tales of youthful alienation, such as Doom Generation.