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The presence of Bill Nighy, funeral-faced national treasure, will no doubt be a key selling point for this tragicomic drama. But the real star is behind the scenes. Screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, who adapted the film from his own short story, has crafted a joy of a script, which seeds its themes as elegantly as Nighy’s character, Alan, a Scrabble-obsessed tailor, wears his suits. The danger of an offbeat British film, particularly one that is as emphatically designed as this, is that it could teeter into whimsy and artifice. But thanks to Cottrell Boyce, and the assured direction of first-time feature film-maker Carl Hunter, the emotional beats are authentic and the distinctive look of the film – it takes its aesthetic cues from 60s ties and 70s wallpaper – never upstages the story.
Alan has spent his life preoccupied with the disappearance of his favourite son years before. Michael stormed out of the family home in a “nark” after a disagreement over a Scrabble game. The remaining son, Peter, (Sam Riley) has found himself measured against an absent rival in a competition he can never win. A childhood defined by “second best” – he played with Chad Valley Big League rather than Subbuteo – has shaped his adult life. The precision in the shot composition is mirrored in the storytelling – there’s an unassuming elegance that balances the eccentricity of a film that makes something as mundane as Scrabble into a taut dramatic device.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Sometime Always Never review – a triple-word score of a movie | Film