Updated: Apr 9, 2020
I'm always thrilled to see Bill Nighy on a movie poster, he never fails to ooze joyfulness, alongside satire one-liners. Settled in on a Sunday afternoon as a storm rolled in, I knew from the outlandish trailer that 'Sometimes Always Never' was going to be an interestingly weird watch.
The props and settings of this film were wonderful. The sensational detail of the coloured beach houses, matching furniture, and North West England scenery made for such a stunning performance. I felt early in the film a similarity between Carl's directing vision and Wes Anderson's movies. The mentioning of Marmite and Scrabble, alongside other references from the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, made it a warm comforting British tale. The themes were underlyingly dark, you can't help but feel emotional about the realism if your child, brother, or friend went missing. However, they were quickly hidden well within the humour and awkwardness around sex between the men of the family. I felt the characters are explored beautifully as the cinematographer Richard Stoddard focused with in depth close-ups of facial expressions and quick-cut camera angles. I believe a huge effort was made by this production to plan and execute a well-told narrative, and the reconnecting ending between Sam and Bill brought a tear to my eye mirroring the harrowing rain from outside.
I found the beginning of the movie was the slowest, which I'm sure would trouble a few Bill Nighy fans into turning off. It's hard to engage audiences with simple camera shots at the most of times, and viewers interests often spark up as they spot hidden meanings or recurring details while the story progresses. The opening scene on the beach where Bill walk towards the ice cream van wasn't engaging enough for me, if it wasn't for the arrival of Sam Riley's character getting me invested, I might have turned off earlier.
To describe the film in 3 words I would say admirable, heavy-hearted and sincere. There is a humbleness to Alan's character in this film, and the director Carl Hunter creates a wonderfully emotional world for him to explore and be part of.